Artsakh Has Decisive Voice in Peace Talks, Says Foreign Minister

Armenia's Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan
Armenia's Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

YEREVAN—Artsakh has a decisive role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peace talks and conflict resolution process, said Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in a weekend interview on Azatutyun.am Armenian Service.

Mnatsakanyan pointed out that the peace process has quite a long history, with one clear reality being the fact that Nagorno Karabkah has a decisive voice in the peaceful conflict resolution process.

“I think it’s nothing new that Nagorno Karabakh has that decisive voice since eventually that conflict by the formulation of the Co-Chairs is called Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Nagorno Karabakh, let’s say it cautiously, is a unit with its territory, population, structures, public administration system is impossible to ignore. From the very start its decisive voice has clearly existed in the entire process. And Nagorno Karabakh has been in different stages of the conflict. It has signed the ceasefire agreement,” explained Armenia’s foreign minister saying that highlighting that role is important in Armenia’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

Mnatsakanyan highlighted the fact that a peaceful atmosphere has vital significance for success. He added, however, that he is concerned with statements and formulations that attempt to derail the talks and lead the process in an opposite direction.

“You know, now we are at the stage where we are forming the foundations to continue the negotiation process. During this period Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I had telephone conversations with the [OSCE Minsk Group] Co-Chairs, the Deputy U.S. Secretary of State. an American official visited here and we also hosted the French foreign minister in Armenia. I had a phone conversation with Russian foreign minister, and as far as I know, a statement has already been issued that I am going to pay a working visit to Moscow on June 7. The main purpose of this visit is to meet with the Russian foreign minister,” said Mnatsakanyan adding that the meeting and other efforts are being undertaken by his office to continue the peace talks, since the takeover by the new government in Armenia.

Mnatsakanyan said that the new Armenian government will maintain Armenia’s “very deep” ties with Russia while trying to “complement” them with closer cooperation with the European Union and other world powers.

In the Azatutyun.am interview Mnatsakanyan ruled out major changes in Armenia’s traditional foreign policy orientation. He said the recent dramatic events that led to a change of government in Yerevan were an “Armenian process that totally fit into the Armenian reality.”

“Our foreign policy will also be the same,” Mnatsakanyan added, commenting on some Russian commentators’ fears that Armenia may drift away from Russia under Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.

“We have very deep and very important relations with Russia and they will continue,” stressed the recently appointed minister. “Our strategic cooperation, strategic relations with Russia have a very strong, logical and explicable basis.”

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