Karabakh Independence Will be Recognized, Says Kocharian

Former President Robert Kocharian

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Time favors the Armenians in the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence will eventually be recognized by the international community, according to former President Robert Kocharian.

“One thing is clear. In modern history, these kinds of problems have been solved in favor of self-determined peoples. All of them,” Kocharian told Karabakh state television in an interview aired late Wednesday.

Kocharian gave the examples of newly independent states like East Timor, Kosovo and South Sudan that won international recognition as a result of secessionist conflicts. He also pointed to Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s Russian-backed secession from Georgia and said the Palestinian push for international recognition will also end in success soon.

“In that sense, time is definitely working in our favor,” said the man who led Karabakh during the 1992-1994 war with Azerbaijan and served as Armenia’s president from 1998-2008.

“But one must not think that after the recognition of Karabakh’s independence life will change drastically,” continued Kocharian. “One should live as if that happened long ago.

“We don’t need anybody’s seal of approval for the recognition of our independence. It’s an accomplished fact. We should live and work in full confidence and reinforce the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The rest will come in due course,” added Kocharian.

Kocharian’s successor Serzh Sarkisian, also a native and wartime leader of Karabakh, similarly cited the South Sudan precedent in a speech before senior Armenian diplomats on Tuesday. “The same will inevitably happen with Artsakh (Karabakh),” he said.

Kocharian spoke to the Stepanakert-broadcaster ahead of the 20th anniversary of Karabakh’s declaration of independence from Azerbaijan that will be officially marked on Friday. He spent much of the interview discussing the events of the early 1990s and his personal role in the Karabakh war.

Kocharian, who turned 57 on Wednesday, spoke of “serious progress” in Karabakh but warned the unrecognized republic’s current leaders against complacency. “I have no doubts that everything will end up very well, but we have no right to be satisfied with the existing situation,” he said.


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  1. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    If Mr. Heydar Aliyev keeps his promise, Karabakh independence will be recognized, isn’t it so, Mr. Robert Kocharyan?

  2. Elena said:

    We are looking forward to celebrate our first victory (which is indeed a big one) after hundereds of years. The next should be our Western Armenia and why not our Javakhk (If georgians continue to discriminate and disrespect Armenians who are the citizens of that country). We are doomed to become a powerful nation and also respect and love our enemies (Turks) so day can change their mentality toward the humankind.

    • George Staniashvili said:

      Dream on Armo racists, you are not getting anything from my people.

      • Suleymanoglu said:

        @George, there won’t be a second Karabagh issue on Georgian soil.

        It’s free to dream whatever you want. “Great Armenia” for instance is exactly what you get when you have 3 million people dreaming at once. Sadly, not even 30 million would be enough to make that dream come true. This I tell you as a Turk.

  3. Elchin said:

    And you know well that it will never get recognition, right?Abkazia, S Osetia, Tansnistria all these conflicts made by Russian hands and all of them remained unrecognized till now.Armenia, lika a dark hole, is the only reason preventing Caucasus to develope by creating conflicts with 3(out of 4) of her neighbours.Put your Turkic neighbours on the other side, ask what is the comparison of Armenians and Azeris in Georgia the answer will not surprize you; Bad Azeri is better than good Armenians…just ask them..!

    • Avery said:

      ….and you know as well that recognition means diddly-squat for Artsakh. Artsakh doesn’t need recognition. Economy is improving, tourism is booming (up 50%), new buildings are going up, infrastructure is being improved, a new airport will start operating soon, Artsakhtsi can travel the world over on RoA passports: where is the problem ?

      There are lots of advantages to non-recognition. Leaders of Armenia and Artsakh know that quite well, but one is expected to make certain public announcements for a variety of non-essential reasons.

      Artskah’s security will not be enhanced by recognition. Artsakh’s is secure because of its battle tested, very capable defense force.

      A piece of paper (agreement, recognition, etc) never stopped someone with a gun. Not once in human history.

    • Elena said:

      We don’t need neither your nor Georgians opinion about us. We are the oldest nation in the history of humankind and it’ll be silly to pay attention to a nation’s opinion (or at least your personal childish opinion).

      • Suleymanoglu said:

        Oldest nation in the world. Interesting. I assume you are talking about the “Great Armenia” of 65 million BC.

    • Vacheh said:

      Seljuk Elchin,

      You Azeri’s were slapped hard on your face back in 1994. Your pipelines which pass through Georgia are under firing range of Karabagh forces from the Northern Karabagh. Those pipelines are the blood-lines of your incompetent and delusional leaders. Would you like to try and receive the same slap one more time? Then perhaps your so called leaders will sit on the table and sign the recognition of NKR as an Armenian State.

      • Elchin said:

        Vacheh next time Turkic slap will be harder than 1915, book your 5 star resorts in Der E Zor again..

    • ArdeVast Atheian said:

      We don’t have a land dispute with Iran. We do have a land dispute with Turkey and Azerbaijan. The Georgians have a conflict with every minority that the Russian government assigned them to govern. They have proven themselves unfit to govern others. Therefore all are seeking to rid themselves of their Georgian rulers.

  4. Robert Yoder said:

    I hope that the peoples of NK will receive and welcome any of the expected refugees among the Avars and Lezgidians who might come their way to escape “Turkefication or annihilation” which Alyev threatens them with — and perhaps settle some of them in the adjoining provinces that NK now controls. Would this not strengthen NK’s case before the international community?

  5. Hrant K. said:

    Elchin, Worst Armenian is much better than Best Azeri (your kind). The friendship with the Russians and Iranians bedwarfs the other 3 fyi!! And Robert Yoder, don’t you worry, the Avars and Lezgidians have their own right of self determination, wherever they live now in East azerbaijan, that doesn’t
    make them unwelcome by Armenians though!! (7)

  6. Hrant K. said:

    If turkey recognizes Palestine, Israel’s first reaction should be recognizing Artsakh’s independence, West Armenia (and Arm. Genocide by the Knesset) and Nakhichevan (for the flotilla offence by turkey)!!

    • Suleymanoglu said:

      Only an Armenian would believe that Israel has the capacity to challenge Turkey.
      There’s no Turkey, Azerbaijan, Nakhchivan. There’s only 1 TURAN. Remember that.

    • Suleymanoglu said:

      Remove the words “ethnic and Azerbaijan” from your post and you have just described what is happening in Iravan right now. 15.000 people every week at liberty sqaure, demanding every single thing that has been demanded in all the Arab uprisings combined, lol.
      Hey, according to Aharon Adibekyan, Armenia has just registered a poverty rate of 46%.
      Welcome to reality, please meet the Somalia of Caucasus.

  7. Suleymanoglu said:

    Someone should tell this clown Karabagh is already recognized by all UN members. It’s recognized as an integral part of Azerbaijan.

    • Araxi said:

      Go find new pastures suleyman!!!!!!

      Karabagh was the first state to declare Independence in the former USSR, even before Azerbayjan called its independence from the USSR.
      And by the way this Great Man, Robert Kocharian was the First Armenian President of an Independent Armenian Republic called Artsakh. It declared its independence on the 2nd of September 20 years ago, 18 days after which Armenia declared itself independence on the 21st of September.

      When did azerbaijan declare its independence? Long after Karabagh and Armenia. Go read your history.

  8. Anna said:

    Suleymanoglu, in all honesty, you are an idiot. What Turan are you talking about? Are you dreaming? And do not stick your nose in Karabakh business it simply isn’t your business. Go think about you Genocidal state. BTW, genocide in Turkey still continues, it is called Kurdish genocide. Your lovely Erdogan just apologized for mass killings in 1930s.