PARIS—On the second day of his working visit to France, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian met with members of the parliament at France’s National Assembly and delivered a speech at the French Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, reported the presidential press service.
Sahakian praised the French National Assembly for developing and strengthening friendly relations between the two countries, emphasizing the important political and humanitarian implications.
He also thanks France-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and its chairman, Francois Rochebloine, for the objective presentation of the Karabakh issue in parliament, continuously keeping Europe informed about Artsakh and consistent efforts toward the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The Karabakh president briefed members of parliament on the current situation in Karabakh, touching on issues of importance to domestic and foreign policy of the republic and discussed development of bi-lateral relations.
In his speech at the French Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, Sahakian focused on key issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process, including Artsakh’s readiness to ward off military attacks and the need for the international recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
During the conference entitled, “17 Years After the 1994 ceasefire: What has Nagorno Karabakh achieved today?,” Sahakian presented an historical overview of Karabakh and the centuries old role it has played in Armenian history.
He outlined that the Karabakh question began in 1918 when a state named Azerbaijan, which never existed before, was created in the Caucasus with the immediate involvement of the Ottoman Turkey. Sahakian explained that since the very first moment of its creation, Azerbaijan placed territorial claims before its neighbors, with the distinct aim of sharing a border with Ottoman Turkey, in line with the Pan-Turkic policies of Ottoman leaders.
In discussing the conflict resolution process, Sahakian reiterated Stepanakert’s assertion for a peaceful settlement of through direct dialogue with Azerbaijan. He stressed that any effort to weaken the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic or threaten its national security would be met with the proper response, adding that Karabakh was ready to defend its independence.
Sahakian called Azerbaijan’s provocations and bellicose statements that include threats of war, as the only obstacle to the peace process.
He underscored that the independent Karabakh was state was established on the principles of sovereignty, right to self-determination and democracy, completely corresponding to the international laws and norms.
Sahakian explained that the international recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic could be deemed interrelated with the peace process, but can also viewed as separate processes.
He outlined that while some say that Karabakh will be recognized following the peace resolution, an argument can be made that peaceful resolution to the conflict can be derived with full international recognition.
Sahakian cited the examples of Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and, most recently South Sudan as examples of instances where international recognition brought immediate resolution to conflicts.
He said that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic deserved to be a full and equal member fo the international community from political, legal and moral standpoints.
“During the two decades of its existence, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has succeeded in building a democratic, steadily-developing country threatening no one. Such a state cannot be denied international recognition,” concluded President Sahakian.