NKR Foreign Ministry Says Karabakh Will Not Cede Gains

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–According to Karabakh Foreign Minister Naira Melkoumian–the international community is paying more attention to the Karabakh conflict. Melkoumian recalled an international forum held in Washington in May 2000 where ways to recognize the Nagorno Karabakh Republic were proposed.

One particular proposal–put forward by Prof. Michael Sharf and Paul William proposes that Armenia and Azerbaijan manage to resolve some issues as a result of which the international community would recognize Karabakh’s sovereignty. Over a certain period–Azerbaijan and the Karabakh should prove by their actions that normal relations can be established between them.

The Karabakh foreign minister spoke of the results of the Karabakh peace process in 2000. She was pleased to see the maintenance of previously reached agreemen’s–and the continued dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents.

According to Melkoumian–today the international community realizes that without Karabakh’s consent–no agreement can be signed on the settlement of the conflict–although the Azerbaijani side continues to ignore this. Full talks–including Karabakh’s participation–have still not taken place.

The minister expressed concern over recent calls in Azerbaijan to solve the problem by means of war. Melkoumian stressed the need to confirm the cease-fire regime which was established in 1994. In her opinion–"instability in Azerbaijan is a threat to the entire region. Any conflict can be settled if the internal political situation in conflicting countries is stable."

Melkoumian said "Karabakh has no territorial claims on Azerbaijan. We agree to sit down at the negotiating table–discuss and solve with Azerbaijan the current problems on the basis of compromises. However–they cannot demand that Karabakh cedes everything it has gained over these years. This is short-sighted and unrealistic."

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