Kocharian Discusses Karabakh Peace Process

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Negotiations aimed at settling the Karabakh conflict are at a deadlock not only because of Karabakh’s tough stance on the issues–but Armenia’s resistance as well," said Acting President and Prime Minister Robert Kocharian–Monday.

Kocharian stated that Armenia has demonstrated a constructive approach–in which a more precise and tough position may lead to a more positive international attitude toward the Karabakh situation. That is why–according to Kocharian–a situation has formed where the mediators and Azerbaijan view Armenia as the party ready for concessions and prefer to negotiate only with Armenia.

According to Kocharian–the negotiations have thusfar been inappropriate to the format of the conflict–because the parties to the conflict are Karabakh and Azerbaijan–and yet the parties involved in negotiations are Azerbaijan and Armenia.

"Armenia has appeared to be a constructive party in the conflict–but this has not solved any problems. A situation has formed in which the constructive approach has been ineffective–giving rise to the question of whether it is more important to have a seemingly constructive approach–or a rather direct and possibly harsh approach," Kocharian said–emphasizing that the negotiations aimed at solving the Karabakh conflict will continue. He added that it is necessary to use an approach "in which we would not appear to be ready to concede to anything–but yield only real results."

Kocharian was confident that with today’s powerful economy and army–there is no danger of new hostilities in Armenia. And as for Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s statement that a "party of war" has come to power–Kocharian said that "the label ‘party of war’ is an attempt to degrade the very group of people who have brought forth today’s peace. The cease-fire agreement signed in May 1994 has become reality thanks to military victories–and peace has since been maintained due to the balance of forces."

According to Kocharian–the victory of Karabakh is a result of the internal unity of its people–which may be achieved in Armenia as well.

"And today we would not have an Armenia of just three million–but a single Armenian nation–whose full potential would be aimed at resolving national problems–comprised of all Armenia’s," Kocharian said.

With this in mind–Kocharian found that the ban on double citizenship creates an obstacle for many Armenia’s to take part in the economic development and political life of Armenia.

For a stable political life in Armenia–Kocharian considered it necessary to secure a field for the free activity of political parties and formation of the fourth estate.


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