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Armenian FM talks Karabakh peace process, genocide denial, velvet revolution
2019-04-18 16:47:40

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Nnatsakanyan has said his visit to France is an “extra brick in the very solid structure of the bilateral relations.” He hailed the relations between the two countries as “privileged” and “brotherly.” On a visit to Paris, the Foreign Minister talked to the French Le Figaro newspaper.

On Nagorno Karabakh conflict

The security of the 150,000 people is at the core of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said in an interview with the French Le Figaro newspaper.

He added that the solution can be only political and the Minsk Group is the only format to achieve it. At the same time, he said, there should be a climate conducive to peace and people-to-people contacts.

“We cannot have peace negotiations on the one hand and hate speech on the other. People’s security and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh are priority issues. The 150,000 people living here must participate in this process. They are the guarantors of the Armenian identity, an identity that still faces genocide denial,” Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said.

On Armenian Genocide

Speaking about French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to declare April 24 as Armenian genocide commemoration day, Minister Mnatsakanyan said “the decision deeply moved the Armenian people.”

“They wanted to annihilate us, but we have survived, become stronger and developed, and this is a victory. However, we still bear the consequences of Turkey’s policy of denial,” he said.

“This policy concerns not only Armenians, but the whole humanity. The Turkish President has thrown out the Zurich Protocols signed in 2009 providing for the establishment of diplomatic relations and the opening of the border between the two countries. We are committed to those protocols and are ready to normalize relations without any preconditions,” the Armenian foreign Minister stated.

Priorities after the “velvet revolution”

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said that one year after the revolution the priorities include rule of law, justice, fight against corruption and “all the reforms for which people have granted us a mandate.”

He also pointed out tax reforms, and economy. “Armenia has a huge potential.  Our "velvet revolution" was for domestic reasons, not geopolitical ones.  We are pro-Armenian, not pro-European, pro-American or pro-Russian, even if we closely cooperate with Russia,” the Foreign Minister stated.