The authorities in Artsakh and Armenia are not raising an issue of creating a new, non-agreed format of negotiations,” Spokesperson for the Аrtsakh Foreign Ministry says.
The comments come after the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a statement urging the sides to “refrain from demanding unilateral changes to the format of negotiations without consent of the other party.”
“It is about restoring the full-fledged negotiation format as set out in the OSCE Budapest Summit decision of 1994. This decision was approved by consensus by Heads of State and Government of the OSCE participating States, including Azerbaijan and the Minsk Group co-chairing countries,” MFA Spokesman Artak Nersisyan said in comments to Armenpress.
He said the issue of the format and status of the parties to negotiations has been a subject of lengthy discussions.
“As early as in 1993, in the documents discussed within the framework of the Minsk process, Nagorno Karabakh was indicated as a full party to the conflict. Final clarity on this issue was introduced at the CSCE/OSCE Summit in Budapest in 1994. According to the concluding document of the Summit, the parties to the conflict are those who confirmed the ceasefire agreed on 12 May 1994,” Nersisyan noted.
He reminded that the agreement on full ceasefire and cessation of hostilities was concluded between Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia. On 26-27 July 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed an additional agreement, in which they confirmed “their commitments to the cease-fire until the conclusion of a large political agreement”.
“After the Budapest Summit, in response to attempts by the Azerbaijani side to speculate again on the topic of the parties to the conflict, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Hungarian Foreign Minister László Kovács made a special statement at the meeting of the OSCE Senior Council in Prague on 31 March 1995, where he “confirmed previous OSCE decisions on the status of the parties, i.e. the participation of the two State parties to the conflict and of the other conflicting party (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the whole negotiation process, including in the Minsk Conference”,” the Spokesperson said.
Artak Nersisyan stressed that “the Prague Summary of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office is very clear and leaves no room for arbitrary and tendentious interpretations by the Azerbaijani side of OSCE decisions regarding the negotiation format.”
“The authorities of both the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia do not raise an issue of creating a new, non-agreed format of negotiations. It is about restoring the full-fledged negotiation format as set out in the OSCE Budapest Summit decision of 1994. This decision was approved by consensus by Heads of State and Government of the OSCE participating States, including Azerbaijan and the Minsk Group co-chairing countries,” he added.
“We have repeatedly pointed out that the issue of restoring the trilateral format of negotiations is a kind of litmus test, demonstrating the degree of readiness for real progress in the peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict. Opposition to restoring the most effective negotiation format can be interpreted as a commitment to the status quo.” the Spokesman said
He said “it is regrettable that the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group do not show due principledness to restore the trilateral negotiation format consistent with the decision of the OSCE’s highest body.”