YEREVAN (News.am)—Azerbaijan effectively recognized Karabakh’s independence when its representative negotiated with and signed a cease fire agreement with the authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, explained Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan who was responding to statements made to the contrary by Azerbaijan’s president in an interview with Mir TV.
In an interview with the Mir Interstate TV and Radio Company, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that “Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity must be restored.”
Aliyev’s statements are aimed to thwart the negotiation process and distort the essence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They are attempts to avoid responsibility for Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh and ethnic cleansing, explained Kocharyan, adding that Nagorno-Karabakh will never be part of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s statements on its commitment to the peace process have always been false. Azerbaijan unleashed war, but later it itself had to ask for ceasefire talks – and it was with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, said Kocharyan, who gave a counter interview to the Mir Interstate TV and Radio Company.
During that interview, Kocharyan read a document dated September 3, 1993, signed by Baku. “The Azerbaijani leaders authorized Vice-Chairman of the Supreme Council A. Jalilov to negotiate for a meeting between the leader of Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. That document was signed by Chairman of the Supreme Council, Acting President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev.”
“After Jalilov was authorized, the necessary powers were entrusted to Arkady Ghukazyan, the then foreign minister of the Nagorno-Krabakh Republic. Jalilov and Ghukasyan held talks. They signed a bilateral communiqué that had two points. The first point provided for a 45-day ceasefire, and the second for a meeting between the leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan. The meeting was held in Moscow. President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Robert Kocharian and President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev met there. That meeting resulted in the Bishkek agreement. Finally, a ceasefire agreement was reached. By signing the documents, holding talks and approving the protocol Azerbaijan actually recognized the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic,” outlined Kocharyan.
“They [Azeris] should negotiate with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic instead of disregarding the existence of this national entity and chanting the mantra that Nagorno-Karabakh will never be independent of Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has never had anything in common with independent Azerbaijan nor will it ever,” said Kocharyan.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic remains committed to the peace process. It is only on the basis of all international legal norms, with the cause of the Azerbaijani-Nagorno-Karabakh conflict considered, that we will reach peace. Any attempts to blackmail or issue military threats are not only doomed to failure, but have also been a major impediment in the progress of the peace process,” Sh. Kocharyan said.
In his interview, Aliyev also criticized the OSCE Minsk Group, saying that despite the mediators’ willingness to settle the conflict, their efforts have not produced any results for 19 years. “So it would be wrong to appreciate the mediators’ role without having any results,” he said.