Politics 13:30 28/03/2023 NKR

Azerbaijani authorities seek to disrupt possible dialogue with Artsakh – Foreign Ministry

The Artsakh Foreign Ministry has responded to Azerbaijan’s proposal for a new meeting between Artsakh and Azeri officials in Baku in early April. Below is the full text of a statement released by the ministry on Tuesday.

"In connection with another proposal made by the Azerbaijani President's Office to hold a meeting between representatives of Azerbaijan and Artsakh in Baku in early April, we consider it necessary to reiterate the principled position of the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh regarding possible discussions with Azerbaijan, their modalities and objectives.

The Republic of Artsakh has always advocated and continues to advocate for dialogue and a peaceful, negotiated solution to all existing problems. We have never refused contacts with the Azerbaijani side, which is evidenced by the meetings held between the representatives of Artsakh and Azerbaijan with the mediation of the command of the Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in Artsakh.

The conditions proposed by the Azerbaijani side regarding the place and agenda of the meeting, as well as the context in which the proposal was made, indicate that the goal of the Azerbaijani authorities is not to have genuine discussion on existing problems, but to disrupt a possible dialogue or to impose their own political agenda through coercion, blockade, creating unbearable living conditions and the use of military force. In this regard, we consider it necessary to recall that three days ago, on 26 March, the Azerbaijani armed forces, in flagrant violation of the trilateral ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020, crossed the line of contact and moved further into the territory of the Republic of Artsakh, in the direction of the unpaved road Stepanakert-Lisagor. Moreover, on 27 March, the Azerbaijani armed forces made another attempt to take control of the mentioned road, which is the only possibility of emergency communication between the communities of Shushi region and other settlements of the republic under the conditions of blockade.

We reaffirm our readiness, in line with the established practice of previous meetings, to meet with the representatives of Azerbaijan with the mediation and at the deployment site of the command of the Russian Peacekeeping Contingent in Artsakh to discuss issues of ensuring the normal life activity of the people of Artsakh and the proper implementation by the parties of their obligations, in particular, those related to the unimpeded functioning of the Lachin Corridor. In this context, we consider the reopening of the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia through the Lachin Corridor and addressing the humanitarian, infrastructural and other urgent issues caused by the blockade to be a priority The authorities of Artsakh  are also open to discussing other issues, which would not be aimed at imposing ready-made solutions on the part of Azerbaijan, but the search of mutually acceptable solutions to stabilise the situation and prevent further escalation of tension.

We emphasize once again that the continued blocking of the Lachin Corridor and aggravation of the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh are unacceptable and in no way contribute to creating an environment conducive to dialogue. We are convinced that only proper implementation by Azerbaijan of its international obligations, both under the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020 and the order of the International Court of Justice of 22 February 2023, may testify to Azerbaijan's willingness and interest to address issues through dialogue and negotiations without resorting to coercion and the use of force.

We reiterate the inadmissibility of politicisation of dialogue on technical and humanitarian issues and emphasise that the political issues of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict settlement must be discussed in an agreed and internationally established negotiation format, based on the equal rights of the parties and the existence of solid international guarantees for the implementation by the parties of their obligations."



Source Panorama.am
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