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Armenian President Repeats That Karabakh’s Independence Has Nothing to Do With Azerbaijan’s Territorial Integrity

At a joint press conference with his Latvian counterpart, President Robert Kocharian said that there is no settlement to the Nagorno Karabakh issue that will make all sides happy. To a Latvian journalist’s question “How is that possible to find a solution that would satisfy all parties?”, the Armenian President said that first of all the people of Karabakh should be asked with whom and how they want to live.

The officials in Yerevan have been stating in recent years that Nagorno Karabakh never was within Azerbaijan’s structure and will never be or else Karabakh’s independence has nothing to do with Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. These statements from Armenian President’s mouth yesterday came in very handy.

Allegedly, president Kocharian made this statement especially in the presence of President Vaira Vike-Freiberga of Latvia who said in Baku a few days ago that “violation of a sovereign state’s territorial integrity is a worrisome factor”. Besides, Nagorno Karabakh was forced into Azerbaijan like Latvia was once annexed to the Soviet empire. At the press conference following the president’s meeting, Kocharian said that it is incomprehensible speaking about territorial integrity in this case when we deal with collapse of an empire. “I see no contradiction in the principle of territorial wholeness and peoples’ right for self-determination. Karabakh’s independence has nothing in common with Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. After the collapse of the USSR, Karabakh declared its independence through a referendum and Azerbaijan declared of revival of its independence lost in 1918. Nagorno Karabakh has never been in the structure of independent Azerbaijan”, the leader of Armenia said.

Vike-Freiberga has previously introduced her state’s position on NK issue as that of the EU which places a country’s territorial integrity first. “When an empire crumbles there is no question of territorial integrity. The collapse of the Soviet Union gave birth to 15 new states, the map of Europe changed, 5 new states emerged on the Balkans and 6th one is in the process of formation (perhaps he meant Kosovo – ed.), two separate states were formed in the place of Czechoslovakia… The issue of territorial integrity is out of question”, President Kocharian said.

Asked by another Latvian journalist whether the fact of Armenian-Russian close ties is not an obstacle for deeper Armenian-Latvian relations, Kocharian said that Armenia implements policy of complementarism: “We have very good relations with Iran, NATO, USA and Russia. If we managed to maintain good relations with Iran and the US in the same time why should we have problems in cooperating with Latvia maintaining meanwhile good relations with Russia?”, Robert Kocharian said.

By Tatoul Hakobian

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