The issue of Artsakh joining the negotiations has been discussed in Vienna, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said through Facebook livestreaming.
Commenting on the results of his meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev last week, Pashinyan said the Armenian side bought strong arguments, but added that the parties failed to reach agreement on the issue.
“This does not mean, however, that the issue is no longer on the agenda. Discussions will continue, as it is very important for making the negotiations more effective,” the Prime Minister said.
He noted that although Nagorno Karabakh has been formally left out of the negotiations, it has still been involved in the talks between 1998 and 2008.
“People representing Armenia in that period [ex-Presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan] have once been leaders in Nagorno Karabakh. Therefore, the people of Nagorno Karabakh could be considered involved in the negotiations,” Pashinyan farther explained.
He said that the fact that he does not come from Nagorno Karabakh and has never been a leader in Karabakh, means that Atsakh has been left out of the negotiation process after 2018.
Nikol Pashinyan had earlier stated that “the Madrid Principles need clarification.” According to him, the issue has been raised during the meetings with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Azerbaijani President. He added, however, that the questions have not been fully clarified, as it would be impossible during one discussion.
Turning to “preparing societies for peace,” the Prime Minister said the issue was on the agenda of the Vienna meeting, and the direct outcome was the agreement reached on developing a number of measures in the humanitarian field.
PM Pashinyan added that he comments coming from Azerbaijan include old texts that fail to reflect the new atmosphere we have in the negotiations.
He added that accepting the new realities does not mean a victory of loss for any of the parties.
“Will it be a loss for Azerbaijan, if Nagorno Karabakh joins the negotiations? Not, of course,” the Prime Minister said, adding that negotiations cannot be effective and lead to a solution, if an important party is left out of the talks.
He reiterated that this is neither a precondition, nor a caprice.
“It reflects our respect for all participants of the negotiation process, because we want our texts and steps to fully match. If we want to reach a peaceful solution and we definitely want to, we have to take all necessary preparatory steps,” Nikol Pashinyan stated.