STEPANAKERT (ArmRadio)— “The Madrid Document proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs suggests packaged settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue based on mutual compromises,” Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan has said. The comments come after statements by the President of Azerbaijan regarding the phased solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
“One of the key elements of that packaged solution is the determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. The adoption of the Madrid Document in general, including the idea of referendum as a basis for the negotiation process, was a serious compromise by the Republic of Armenia, considering that the referendum on the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh was conducted before the collapse of the Soviet Union in full compliance with the fundamental norms of the international law and the Constitution and legislation of the Soviet Union then in force,” Kocharyan said.
“The idea of the new referendum was substantiated by the Co-Chairs in terms of providing the Azerbaijani leadership time to prepare their population to the inevitability of holding such referendum as well as to long-term peace and not to war. However, the Azerbaijani leadership used the timeframe after the adoption of Madrid principles for distorting the essence of the negotiation process, seeding hatred towards Armenians, preparing their population for war, maintaining the tension and carrying out provocations along the borders with the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia,” the Deputy Foreign Minister said.
“The logical continuation of such politics was the renewal of large-scale military offensive against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic by Azerbaijan, which represents a grave violation of the latter’s international obligations under trilateral – Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia- agreements on the establishment of ceasefire regime and the enforcement of the ceasefire regime of 1994-1995, which have no time limitations. The Azerbaijani aggression was conducted by a cruelty not inferior to ISIS with grave violations of humanitarian law, including shelling of schools resulting in the death and injuries of children, torture, mutilation and killing of elderly people as well as decapitation of soldiers. Moreover, the President of Azerbaijan demonstratively decorated the barbarian, who decapitated the Armenian captive soldier, exactly how he previously glorified another barbarian who axed an Armenian lieutenant during the NATO courses in Budapest,” he added.
“The international community attempted to give the Azerbaijani leadership a chance to retake a civilized and constructive path. To that end, Baku must respect and implement the agreements reached on 16th of May in Vienna and reaffirmed on 20th of June in St. Petersburg and facilitate the creation of an atmosphere necessary for the resumption of negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. However, the statements of the Azerbaijani leadership prove that Baku is losing as well this opportunity provided by the mediators,” Kocharyan noted.
“Azerbaijan’s April aggression clearly demonstrated the inability of its leadership to adhere to its international commitments under the agreements signed by that very side and proved that the launch of the packaged settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh issue must start with the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic by Azerbaijan and its proclamation on the readiness to return the occupied territories of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic,” he added.
“The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan has nothing to do with Nagorno-Karabakh and the conflict must be resolved within the framework of realization of the right of self-determination of people of Nagorno-Karabakh and responsibility of Azerbaijan in its aggression against the self-determined Nagorno-Karabakh Republic,” the Deputy FM concluded.