Ghoukassian Says Azerbaijan Not Willining to Cooperate

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–In a speech at the Paris hearings arranged by the Commission for Political Issues of Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly–Wednesday–Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukassian spoke in depth about the Karabakh conflict and his administration’s stance on the various issues and concerns vis–vis the peace process.

The Karabakh leader said during his discussion of the historical factors of the conflict–that at the present time–the approach to the issue is being conducted from a business perspective–referring to the role of Caspian oil deals in the negotiations of the Karabakh conflict. And he asserted that the mistakes and misfortunes brought about by this approach have reached a limit and they must be stopped.

Ghoukassian stressed that proposals which are aimed at forcing Karabakh to remain within Azerbaijan as an autonomy will ensure the basis for resuming hostilities resulting in long-term instability.

Addressing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group co-chairmen’s latest proposals–Ghoukassian said that they represent a perspective direction in seeking a status that would make it possible to resolve the apparent collision between the two equal principles.

The Karabakh side took the concept of "common state" as a basis for talks–and the international community’s position was taken into consideration in developing Karabakh’s position.

Ghoukassian noted that the Azeri authorities–who have not taken a single step to instill confidence in the population of Karabakh throughout the cease-fire–have rejected compromise proposals which make it possible to develop a mutually acceptable for Nagorno-Karabakh.

Ghoukassian stressed that by rejecting the proposals of establishing a "common state," the Azeri authorities confirmed that they have a strategy which–in fact–runs counter to the general trend of current political developmen’s.

Azerbaijan’s opting out of the Paris hearings means that Azerbaijan is not interested in getting a prompt solution to the conflict.

If Azerbaijan does not change its inconstructive position–Karabakh will have to "appeal to the international community to recognize our republic’s independence declared in 1991 in accordance with both international law…"

Ghoukassian expressed optimism that the international community–including the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe–will give a serious consideration both to Azerbaijan’s refusal and Nagorno-Karabakh’s consent to accept the "common state" idea–which will make a great contribution to the establishment of stability in the Caucasus.

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