LONDON (PanArmenian)—Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on Thursday said Azerbaijan wants to ruin the process of the peace negotiations. He was directly referring to comments by his Azeri counterpart, who on Wednesday said that it is senseless to spend time on the coordination of the main principles and the sides should jump to develop a peace treaty.
Nalbandian, who was speaking at the London International Institute for Strategic Studies, explained that before the determination of the final status, Nagorno Karabakh will get a transitional status, which must be determined at the international level.
“This was offered by the Minsk Group co-chairs in 2009 in Prague but Azerbaijan did not accept it,” said Nalbandian who added that Azerbaijan’s statements aim to distort the essence of discussions on the future status of Nagorno Karabakh.
Nalbandian explained that the transitional status meant “status quo plus,” which is, all Karabakh has today plus international recognition.
“The sooner Azerbaijan realizes that its approaches are wrong and stops spending petrodollars to prepare for new adventures, the more apparent its perspective will become on the conflict resolution,” said Nalbandian.
Official Baku misleads the public in its country, when Azerbaijan states that the Helsinki Final Act envisions the settlement of conflicts within the framework of territorial integrity, whereas such a point is not contained within the document, explained Nalbandian.
Nalbandian reminded that the joint statement made in Deauville by the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries first of all speaks about the establishment of peace and not preparations for war.
“Evidently, it was addressed to Azerbaijan, however Azerbaijan replied with threats for beginning war, military parade, boasting with their last seven years of progress in increasing their military budget 20 times,” said Nalbandian.
The foreign minister also explained that without Karabakh’s consent to the fundamental principles it will be impossible to commence discussions on a peace treaty, just like without the direct involvement of Karabakh in the talks it will be impossible to sign an agreement on the conflict settlement.
“It is important that the Deauville statement speaks about unacceptability of maintaining the status-quo. But all three principles and six elements stated by the heads of the co-chair countries be fulfilled. There is another important point in the statements which Azerbaijan tries to move to the backburner and that is the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh for determination of its final status through free and legal expression of popular will,” said Nalbandian.
While on an official visit to the United Kingdom Nalbandian met with Foreign Secretary William Hague and Minister of State for Europe David Lidington.
In the context of regional problems and conflicts Nalbandian presented Armenia’s position on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution and expressed hope that in case Azerbaijan demonstrates political will and a constructive approach, a resolution may be reached.
Lidington expressed the UK’s readiness to assist in talks through the OSCE Minsk Group mediation and stressed the need to strengthen confidence-building measures. He also said resolving the conflict through military means is unacceptable.