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New unofficial meeting with Aliyev expected, says Pashinyan

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 28, ARMENPRESS. Armenia will continue pursuing the recognition of Artsakh’s right to self-determination. One of the priorities of the Armenian government is to enhance Karabakh’s subject matter in the negotiations process, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan said in Iran during his meeting with the local Armenian community.

“And we’ve also preliminarily talked that we should have a meeting with the Azerbaijani president [Aliyev] soon. This will basically be a meeting without an agenda, but one of the important guidelines of this meeting will be the discussion of the negotiations format, which means that as long as we haven’t reached an agreement around this format these contacts and discussions cannot be considered as official negotiations. I have said that I speak on behalf of Armenia because I am the Prime Minister of Armenia, and I do not speak on behalf of Artsakh because Artsakh has its own government, its president, and it is the Government of Artsakh that should speak on behalf of Artsakh in the negotiations process. This is very important, and we must do our best for Artsakh to have a new level of subject matter in the negotiations process,” Pashinyan said.

According to Pashinyan, the agreement is that they must discuss the possibilities for solving the issue peacefully. “Do I see this kind of possibilities today and can I say that I see any progress in the process of these talks? Unfortunately, I cannot say this. When international partners come and ask us – are you ready for compromise? We very clearly respond to them  – who told you that we should be the respondent and first respondent of this question? Are you asking Azerbaijan if they are ready for compromise or not? We will not answer this question as long as Azerbaijan hasn’t clearly answered it,” the Armenian PM said.

He said it can be very clearly substantiated why Azerbaijan must be the first to respond to this question, because it is Azerbaijan that is every day speaking with threats about the NK conflict settlement.

“If anyone thinks they can solve the Karabakh issue through force or threats they are gravely mistaken. They are gravely mistaken due to the very fact that the one who says so doesn’t realize that he is dealing with not only the Republic of Armenia and the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, but also Armenians around the world, who today are united more than ever before,” Pashinyan said.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan


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