Karabakh Must Participate in Peace Talks

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–International mediators acknowledge the need for Karabakh to be an immediate party to the negotiating process–said Karabakh Foreign Minister–Naira Melkoumian–in an interview with the Moscow-based "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" newspaper. According to the minister–the international mediators acknowledge that Karabakh’s non-participation in the negotiations is also the result of the policy carried out by Azerbaijan. "Part of the same anti-Armenian policy which is carried out in Azerbaijan on the state level–and one can suppose that it is aimed at driving the Armenia’s out of Karabakh."

Melkoumian quoted the mediators stating that they were themselves the main protectors of Karabakh’s interests. She agreed with the statement made by OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairman from Russia–Vyacheslav Trubnikov–who said that the settlement must meet the interests of the people of Karabakh. This statement fully corresponds to the principles of the OSCE–according to which the main party that suffered in this conflict–and the main party interested in the conflict settlement is the people of Karabakh.

According to Melkoumian–this statement by Trubnikov reflects Russia’s realization of its historical responsibility for the events in the post-Soviet region. Melkoumian also stated that the co-chairmen from France and the US fully realize and share the responsibility for the fate of Karabakh’s people.

Accusing the Republic of Karabakh for destroying Muslim monumen’s or presenting Karabakh as a "center of international terrorism" is false–said Melkoumian.

"I am sure that Azerbaijan’s attempts to present Nagorno Karabakh as ‘an international outcast’ will not bring any results," she said.

Melkoumian highlighted the fact that no such statemen’s have been made either by Iran or by other international organizations working in Karabakh. Moreover–the international organizations which Azerbaijan tried to involve in its propaganda campaign–denied similar statemen’s. Among them is the International Committee of the Red Cross–as well as organizations attending to issues of nuclear safety.

"We are fully open to the outside world–we often have foreign journalists for whom all areas controlled by us are accessible–therefore we do not fear anything: the international community never forms its opinion on the basis of conclusions of only one side," said Melkoumian.

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