Karabakh Welcomes G8 Calls on Peace

STEPANAKERT (Armenpress)–Nagorno-Karabakh Republic authorities Tuesday welcomed a statement by G8 leaders issued in St. Petersburg calling over the weekend calling on Armenia and Azerbaijan "to demonstrate the political will–reach agreement and prepare their publics for peace and not for war."

"We confirmed that the Group of Eight supports the mediation efforts of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and stressed the need for agreeing on the basic principles of a peaceful settlement of the conflict as early as in 2006," the G-8 statement said.

"One may only welcome the G8 statement on maintaining the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and on the necessity for coordinating the core principles of the conflict’s peaceful resolution," Nagorno-Karabakh foreign minister Georgi Petrossian said Tuesday in an statement issued by the ministry.

"The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has always been in favor of a peaceful resolution to the conflict and is prepared to exert every effort to achieve an agreement on establishing long-term peace in the region. Unfortunately–not everything hinges on the efforts of the mediators. Azerbaijan’s extremely negative position and its unwillingness to be in any contact with Nagorno-Karabakh has made finding an acceptable and proper solution very difficult to date," added Petrossian

"The Russian president has fairly suggested that it would not impose any solutions on the parties to the conflict and that the compromise must be reached by the people. Taking into account the Russia’s readiness to become a guarantor of the agreement’s provisions–once again–we reiterate that resolutions directly concerning the future of our country and our people only would be possible with participation of representatives of legally elected authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–the main party to the conflict," he said.

In an interview with the Itar-Tass news agency–Azeri foreign ministry spokesperson Tayir Taghizadeh also welcomed the G8 statement on the Karabakh conflict resolution process.

"This is very positive for Azerbaijan. We have always called on the world community and its leaders to accelerate their efforts toward the resolution of the conflict," Taghizade said.

The foreign ministry official characterized Azerbaijan as a "victim of Armenian aggression," and questioned a portion of the G8 announcement–which calls on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to make equal concessions in the conflict resolution process.

"Azerbaijan supports the peaceful resolution of the conflict," Taghizade said–adding that the OSCE Minsk Group efforts were the necessary factor for the successful continuation of the peaceful negotiations.

"At the same time we cannot conduct negotiations just for the sake of negotiations. In case the diplomatic efforts produce no results–our country has the sovereign right to restore its territorial integrity," the spokesperson said.

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