YEREVAN (Armradio)-"No proposal on the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan has been made since 1998,"Armenian President Robert Kocharian said Friday at Yerevan State University Friday where he spoke to students and faculty about the implications of Kosovo’s declaration of Independence on Nagorno-Karabakah.
Armenia has strengthened its position on Karabakh during the last ten years and the possibility for returning Karabakh to Azerbaijan has never been raised, Kocharian told students. This is a major achievement for Armenia and Karabakh, he added.
"The precedent set forward by Kosovo’s independence is very important for us," Kocharian told the students.
"I do not imagine how a nation that has lived on its historic land and acquired its independence would relinquish its de facto independence through negotiations and agree to another status," Kocharian said. "The issue must be considered in a different context and I don’t doubt that independence will be the final result."
According to the president, the Kosovo issue is the question of greatest concern for the international community, and this independence is inevitable.
Kosovo’s independence is definitely a precedent setter, Kocharian said. The only difference between Kosovo and Karabakh, according to him, is that the independence process in Karabakh began sooner, with a declaration of independence in 1991.
"Kosovo has just proclaimed its independence, and we just as much right to an independent Karabakh, as the Albanians do to an independent Kosovo," he said. "But we shouldn’t be thinking about an independent Karabakh only because there is now an independent Kosovo. For us, Karabakh’s independence is a fact, and we must instead get other states to recognize this fact as well."
Kosovo was in the spotlight of world politics for a number of different reasons, the president explained. But we will still continue along our path, Kocharian assured the students.