YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister on Wednesday said Armenia would not allow Azerbaijan to annex the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and called on Official Baku to withdraw from three territories of the republic still occupied by Azerbaijan’s armed forces.
Shavarsh Kocharyan made his remarks during a press conference in Yerevan where responded to Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov’s praise for a recent statement on Karabakh issued by the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries.
Mamadyarov had called for peace in the region and cited the statement as a confirmation by the international community that Nagorno-Karabakh was Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenians. Kocharyan also underscored the importance of peace, however, he reasserted that peace can only exist through the free expression of self determination by the indigenous people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The status of Nagorno Karabakh is to be determined by a legally-binding expression of the will of the people of Artsakh (Karabakh), not Azerbaijan,” Kocharyan stressed.
“We welcome [Mamadyarov’s] statement that peace must be based on international law. I do hope that the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister has not forgotten that one of the basic principles of international law, which is simultaneously UN’s main objective, is the equality and self-determination of peoples,” he said.
“Mr. Mamamdyraov’s statement that ‘occupation is occupation’ is correct, and it means that Azerbaijan should withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic,” he said. “The annexation of Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan is unacceptable, which the people of Artsakh proved during the war launched by Azerbaijan,” said the Deputy Foreign Minister.