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Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan’s interview to ''Kathimerini'' newspaper

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Saturday, 09 July, 2022, 11:30
Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan’s interview to ''Kathimerini'' newspaper

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan’s interview to ''Kathimerini'' newspaper

- In 2020, there was a war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Is Armenia willing to accept the current status quo around Nagorno-Karabakh? And if not, what could be an alternative?

- Despite the claims of the Azerbaijani authorities that after the 44-day war of 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh does not exist as an entity anymore and that the conflict is over, the reality and the position of the international community prove the contrary: Nagorno-Karabakh does exist with its Armenian population, who continue to live in their ancestral land and whose security is now ensured by the Russian peacekeepers, in accordance with the November 9, 2020, trilateral statement, which stopped the devastating war.
The conflict doesn’t stop existing just because one of the sides is declaring that it does not exist. This is self-delusion. Moreover, the official statements by our numerous international partners and organizations, including mediating countries, also clearly show that the NK conflict still needs a final settlement through negotiations under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmanship; a settlement, which should provide guarantees of security and protection of all rights of the Armenians of Artsakh and accordingly the deriving final status of Nagorno-Karabakh.

- Are you optimistic about Armenia- Azerbaijan normalization?

- In line with the Trilateral Statements adopted by the Russian mediation on January 11, 2021, and November 26, 2021, and the agreements reached in Brussels, Armenia has constructively engaged in dialogue with Azerbaijan on general normalization of the relations, delimitation, and border security between the two countries and the unblocking of regional economic links and transport communications.

We reiterate our commitment to work constructively in all directions, and I want to emphasize that the process would have been much smoother and much more effective if Azerbaijan would refrain from its dangerous maximalism and armenophobic rhetoric, holding numerous Armenian prisoners of war and other detained persons in captivity, destroying Armenian cultural and religious heritage, hindering the access of international humanitarian organizations to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, etc.

Overall, we believe that despite all the blood and hatred the region witnessed, there is a real opportunity for peace in the South Caucasus. Armenia has repeatedly reaffirmed its readiness to establish long-term stability and open an era of peaceful development in the region. At the same time, it is obvious that these efforts cannot be one-sided, and we are expecting a similarly constructive approach and sincere practical steps from the Azerbaijani side towards this end.