YEREVAN (Armradio)–Armenian authorities have set themselves the task of solving the Karabakh issue as soon as possible, but not at any cost, Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian declared during an interview on Haylur. Oskanian’s statement was intended to refute suggestions that the authorities are inclined to protract the settlement of the issue.
"The issue can be solved even today if we refuse our rights and historic values and put aside the justice," said Oskanian. "Turning back the clock of history," however is not an option.
The criticisms and accusations that the Karabakh issue has transformed from an issue of self-determination to territorial integrity are completely baseless according to Oskanian. The core of the document on the bargaining table, he emphasized, is the issue of self-determination for the people of Karabakhi through democracy.
"10 years ago we could not even speak loudly about self-determination: the international community would immediately condemn us," Oskanian remarked. He emphasized that today the document sets the right to self-determination for the people of Karabakh, envisages the legalization and international recognition of today’s status quo before the determination of status, ensures the uninterrupted link between Armenia and Karabakh, and provides serious security guarantees. "I think this is a success."
The Foreign Minister does not accept the assertions of opponents that Karabakh’s non-participation in the talks is incorrect. He underlined that the negotiations are held between Karabakh and Azerbaijan, while Armenia has simply assumed a certain responsibility and participates in the talks on behalf of Karabakh. The final document cannot be considered legal unless signed by the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Oskanian does not agree with statemen’s claiming Karabakh has dropped out of the negotiation process. During every visit to the region the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have visited Stepanakert or have at least met the Karabakh Republic President in Yerevan.
"Ever since 1991 we all have been saying the same thing: to ensure the free and secure existence of Karabakh people," Oskanian said. "The problem is in the ways of reaching the target: the step-by-step resolution or the package solution, which includes the issue of the future status of Karabakh."
According to Oskanian’s assessment, the fact that some communications overpass Armenia upon the decision of Azerbaijan does not mean Armenia is in isolation.