Armenia will defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity by all possible and impossible means, acting PM says

Azerbaijan is trying to create the impression that Armenia is against peace and a peace treaty, Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the government sitting today.

Meanwhile, he said, Armenia has on different occasions publicly welcomed the statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on April 13, in which itthey said in particular: “Having in mind the terms of their OSCE mandate and the aspirations of all the people of the region for a stable, peaceful, and prosperous future, the Co-Chairs stress that special attention should be paid to the achievement of a final comprehensive and sustainable settlement on the basis of the elements and principles well-known to the sides.”

In this respect, the Co-Chairs call on the parties to resume high-level political dialogue under the auspices of the Co-Chairs at the earliest opportunity.  They reiterate their proposal to organize direct bilateral consultations under their auspices, in order for the sides to review and agree jointly upon a structured agenda, reflecting their priorities, without preconditions.

Nikol Pashinyan reminded that the principles known to the parties include the right of peoples to self-determination, non-use of force or the threat of force and territorial integrity.

“This statement of the Co-Chairs is thus nothing but a proposal for a roadmap for peace in the region. Armenia has welcomed this statement and responded positively to the provisions mentioned in it. I would like to state once again that Armenia is ready to resume the Karabakh peace process in the format mentioned in the Co-Chairs’ statement. And I think that the Azerbaijani leadership would do well to heed the mediators’ calls instead of destructive actions and statements, and also take a clear position on the well-known statement. It is clear that we will diligently pursue the realization of the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination,” Nikol Pashinyan stated.

“If we add to all this the provocative statements of Azerbaijan, threatening the territorial integrity of Armenia, it becomes clear who is hindering the establishment of regional stability and peace. If we look closely at Azerbaijan’s actions and statements, we will see that the country has territorial ambitions towards most of its neighbors – this is the main factor that calls into question our regional stability and peace,” he added.

The acting Prime Minister noted that “regardless of everything, Armenia will defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity by all possible and impossible means, including through the Armenian-Russian joint military group, and the launch of the mechanisms of the Collective Security Treat, and we continue our consultations with our partners in this direction.”

“We have had two casualties on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the last two months. Expressing my condolences to the relatives and friends of the victims, I would like to draw the attention of our partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to this fact,” Pashinyan stated.

The next important factor hindering the establishment of regional stability and mutual trust is the fact that, despite its commitments,

He noted that Azerbaijan’s failure to return all Armenian prisoners of war is another factor hindering the establishment of stability and mutual trust in the region.

“To date, in cooperation with our international partners, we have been able to return 104 prisoners of war. We will continue to work for the return of our POWs,” Pashinyan said, adding that the demarcation and delimitation of the border, comprehensive settlement of the Karabakh issue, opening of regional communications have been and will remain priorities.

“By these destructive actions, Azerbaijan is not only violating the November 9 statement, but also trying to disrupt the process of unblocking the regional infrastructure enshrined in the January 11 trilateral statement, as well as the peace talks envisaged by the statement of the  OSCE MG Co-Chairs of April 13, and regional stability in general,” Pashinyan said.

“Such actions of Azerbaijan are a challenge to international law, to all the forces that are interested in regional stability, to the establishment of peace, we will continue our consultations, cooperation with those forces,” he added.

Read original article here.

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