No Peace Plan Without Armenia, Karabakh Consent

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenia will not sign any peace agreement without the explicit approval by the people of Armenia and Karabakh, said foreign minister Eduard Nalbandian during a briefing in Parliament Wednesday.

“When there is a consensus in the process, all principles will be presented to the people for discussion. Without the full understanding and assistance by the people of Armenia and Karabakh, the Armenian authorities will not sign any agreement,” said Nalbandian.

In his remarks to parliament, Nalbandian emphasized the importance of the Nov. 2 joint declaration in Moscow, saying that it was the first document in 14 years to be signed jointly by Armenia and Azerbaijan. Although, he explained, the document is not an agreement but rather a declaration.

Nalbandian clarified that the presidents agreed on several key issues, the most crucial of which was to continue the peace process through diplomatic efforts for an eventual political solution to the conflict.

“Until now, Azerbaijan was insisting on advancing the talks based on its territorial integrity and now the discussion is heading toward international legal principles and norms,” explained Nalbandian, adding that if there were forces that wanted to change the current Minsk Group process or engage in simultaneous processes, the Moscow agreement reaffirmed the Minsk Group process.

Nalbandian also clarified that the Azeri and Armenian sides have not agreed on the so-called Madrid principles, but rather are using those principles as bases for discussion and negotiation.

The Azeri side, Nalbandian said, continuously insisted that the basis for the discussion was the UN resolution, while the OSCE and other European bodies rejected that approach and proposed the continuation of talks based on the so-called Minsk proposal.

Last week, at a press conference, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs announced that the Madrid principles, which have been the focal point of discussions could be found on the OSCE Web site. However, after an extensive search Asbarez was unable to locate the document on line. From past revelations, the basic Madrid principles include the return of all liberated territories around Karabakh, the determination of the status of Karabakh via a referendum and deployment of international peace keeping forces to the region.

Nalbandian explained that the Moscow meeting concluded that the Madrid principles would be discussed with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairman and could become an impetus to accelerate the process and find common ground on the some of the issues outlined in the Madrid document.

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