What is the position of the authorities of Artsakh regarding the latest proposals of international mediators to hold a direct dialogue with Azerbaijan for the purpose of the conflict settlement?
After the signing of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, several meetings were held between the representatives of Artsakh and Azerbaijan, during which exclusively humanitarian, infrastructural and other urgent issues related to the life of the population were discussed. The last such meeting was held on 1 March 2023, during which humanitarian issues were discussed in the context of the need for the immediate unblocking of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan.
Obviously, such discussions between the parties aimed at solving urgent problems cannot replace full-fledged peace negotiations needed for a sustainable and comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict.
Artsakh remains committed to the peaceful settlement of the conflict through negotiations, which should be based not on the balance of military powers or legitimisation of the results of the use of force, but the norms and principles of international law, including equal rights and self-determination of peoples. The best way to protect these principles is to involve the international community in discussions with Azerbaijan.
We have repeatedly drawn the attention of the international community that the negotiations should take place in an agreed internationally accepted format, which would provide conditions and guarantees for the parties to implement their commitments. In this regard, it is necessary, first of all, to focus efforts on the full implementation of previously reached agreements. This will be the main indicator of the good faith approach of the parties to the peace process. Only after that, a conducive environment can be created for discussing all other issues, including those related to ensuring the security of the people of Artsakh, exercising their rights without restrictions and respecting the free expression of their will. We are convinced that it is impossible to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict without addressing these important issues.
We would also like to draw the attention of the international community to the fact that, on the one hand, Azerbaijan declares its readiness for dialogue with Artsakh and, on the other, keeps the people of Artsakh under siege for almost three months now, perpetrates terrorist attacks and puts forward maximalist demands, trying to exert pressure and achieve their goals through the use or threat of force.