Karabakh Minister Discusses Conflict with Students

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At the initiative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Nigol Aghbalian Students Union–Karabakh Defense Minister Samvel Babayan met with students at the Yerevan State University Monday–to discuss various security and political issues facing Nagorno-Karabakh.

In discussing the army–Babayan said that there are impedimen’s in the development of a professional army–including the lack of higher education–and other non-professional behavior. He did–however–assert that he relied on the youth of Armenia to help in the development of the Karabakh army and to maintain the warrior spirit of the country.

Babayan also said that policies on civil duty are being implemented–and that currently there are some 400 civil servants in the country.

In addition–Babayan discussed the current state of the OSCE Minsk negotiations–and added that Azerbaijan was standing as an obstacle to the continuation of the process.

In response to students’ questions–Babayan said that there is not a big possibility for Azerbaijan to resume hostilities–because that country is still not confident about its forces and the chance of its military defeat looms large.

At the same time the defense minister said that Azerbaijan should denounce Kelbajar and Lachin: "This is our security. Nobody but Armenia’s can live in these areas," Babayan said.

He also noted that there are no problems within the Karabakh government structure–simply Karabakh authorities are waiting for clear answers from the Armenian authorities on a range of issues. In particular–"what concessions we are talking about–what should be ceded and where is the limit of these concessions. For centuries we have been ceding our territories for the sake of Great Armenia–and should we follow this principle today?" the defense minister said.

According to Babayan another issue on which Armenia and Karabakh have different views is the economic development. He noted that the development of the economy must be a priority so to ensure the flow of population from Armenia to Karabakh.

He also said that Karabakh Armenia’s are insulted when somebody tries to separate Karabakh from Armenia. "In 1988 we started the struggle to reunify with Armenia–which has become a reality. It is not the Karabakh people that won the war–but all Armenia’s did," Babayan stressed.

He noted that Karabakh is one of Armenia’s regions–like Zangezur or Shirak. "We are living in one and the same economic zone–one political area. The laws are not separated: laws adopted in Armenia are effective in Karabakh as well," defense minister said.

Babayan was awarded an order of the Yerevan State University by Head of the University Radik Martirossian.


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