STEPANAKERT, Artsakh—Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan took part in an annual press conference on Wednesday, briefing that international recognition of Artsakh is on 2017’s foreign policy agenda, according to the Artsakh Foreign Ministry press service.
He noted that the Karabakh-Azerbaijani peace process is also a priority.
During the press conference, Mirzoyan stated that the most serious challenge that the Artsakh Republic had to face in 2016 was April’s large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan. A part of the statement about the press conference stated that the Foreign Ministry “has taken consistent steps to inform the international community about the causes and effects of the April aggression and to reach global condemnation of the aggression, blatant violations of international humanitarian law, and the war crimes committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces during that period.”
The Foreign Minister said that “efforts should be focused on ensuring stability” on the Artsakh/Azerbaijan border, also known as the Line of Contact, as well as creating necessary conditions to resume the peace process. “Realization of the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg will become a serious step in this direction,” Mirzoyan said.
Mirzoyan stated that progress in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh peace process “can only be reached if the trilateral format of the negotiations is restored” and “Nagorno-Karabakh, as a full-fledged party, directly participates in all its stages.” He also noted that “against the background of the April aggression, it had become especially evident that any proposal, which can pose even a minimal threat to the independence and security of the country, is unacceptable for Artsakh’s people and authorities.”
International recognition of Artsakh is the only way to prevent further Azerbaijani aggression, Mirzoyan said. He expressed confidence that international recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh would “positively impact the peaceful process, ensuring its irreversibility, and allow to focus on the development of necessary mechanisms and conditions for the peaceful coexistence of two independent and sovereign states.”
Mirzoyan concluded by reiterating that in 2017, the Foreign Ministry will continue to work for the international recognition of Artsakh and expansion of international cooperation on different levels.