Baku Eventually Has to Sit Down and Negotiate with MKR Says Ghukassian

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) president Ghukassian said on Thursday that while Azerbaijan seeks negotiations exclusively with Armenia (in resolving it conflict with MKR)–it at the same time makes every effort to convince the international committee that Armenia is an expansionist nation–and deman’s appropriate repercussions.

"We are trying to regulate the fundamental problem–and the Azeri side is busy with propaganda," Ghukassian told a press conference in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan.

As an example–he cited Azerbaijan’s effort to take the issue of MKR territories to the UN–yet again–and said these activities reveal that Azerbaijan is not ready for a resolution–rather tries to disturb the negotiation process by delaying it.

Asked whether MKR is eventually be a part of negotiations–he recalled the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) 1994 Budapest summit’s recommendation to the Minsk group co-chairs–that in fact–Armenia–Azerbaijan–and Mountainous Karabagh negotiate a settlement.

"Although that recommendation has not been implemented–I am convinced that sooner or later–Azerbaijan will be forced to negotiate with MKR; without that–the negotiation process will not yield results."

Responding to questions about concessions–Ghukassian said: "When Azerbaijan announces that it refuses to even discuss the issue of concessions–and seeks an autonomous Karabagh under Azeri rule–then talking about concessions is absurd. Our concessions would be based on Azerbaijan’s concessions–and would be one-sided."

He also stressed that it is useless to talk about concessions when negotiations are not active. "MKR is an established republic; though they do not recognize us–we have an army–a national assembly–a government."

OSCE’s chairman in office and foreign minister of Slovenia Dimitri Rupel–after meeting with Ghukassian yesterday–announced that a solid window for negotiations would open between Azerbaijan–Armenia–and Mountainous Karabagh by summer’s end–"and that is a positive sign for a peaceful resolution to the Karabagh conflict."

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