Petrossian Calls for Karabakh Recognition

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"We are not entitled to contemplate a solution to the Karabakh conflict placing Nagorno-Karabakh under Azeri rule," Karabakh Prime Minister Leonard Petrossian said at a press conference.

He emphasized that the decision taken by the Regional Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region on February 20–1988–to be independent of Azerbaijan was the will of the whole nation. It is clear–Petrossian said–that people have placed their authorities in charge of defending their country’s independence. According to him–neither a phased nor a package solution is a major factor in the peace talks. He deemed more important the declaration of independence as a destination.

He said that the victory being celebrated is yet to be complete. However–Petrossian said–"we are ready to continue our struggle as long as necessary." According to him–no one should be concerned with the fact that the republic still remains unrecognized. "We’re independent and recognition is only a matter of time," Petrossian said.

Petrossian also spoke about the difficult social state of Karabakh’s population–saying that the rapid growth that had been observed lately–still could not entirely solve the problem of the aftermath of war.

Petrossian said he was sure that the economy of Nagorno-Karabakh was ready to accept investment programs from humanitarian aid distributors. However–he said–it could not establish relations with international investors and organizations. "That is why we pin our hopes on the diaspora–as well as on Armenia with which Karabakh’s economy is integrated one hundred per cent," he claimed.

Petrossian observed that the recent developmen’s in Armenia had not had any impact on the state of its neighbors. Even though Azerbaijan has put its troops on high alert–no extraordinary incidents have been reported so far–he added.

Committed to the principle of not interfering in Armenia’s home affairs–Petrossian declined to comment on the presidential election in Armenia.

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