Yerevan’s insistence to involve Artsakh in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process should not be viewed as a challenge, but rather an invitation for dialogue with Baku, explained Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday during an all-encompassing—more than four-hour—press conference during which he touched on myriad domestic and foreign policy initiatives.
“It is necessary to work consistently through the diplomatic process because, frankly speaking, what is stated publicly is not something new both for the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and Azerbaijan,” said Pashinyan outlining that his repeated insistence to include Artsakh in the negotiation process should not be viewed as a novel proposal but rather an opportunity to discuss the restoring of the negotiation format.
“As I announced in Stepanakert, this [inclusion of Artsakh in the talks] is not a whim or a precondition by our side. This proposal is not aimed changing the format [of the talks] but restoring it,” said Pashinyan referencing the meeting last week in Stepanakert of Armenia’s and Artsakh’s national security councils, during which Pashinyan also called for clarifications of the principles laid out by the OSCE Minsk Group.
“Armenia has demonstrated the ability to listen and to understand other perspectives, and we expect the same from them,” added Pashinyan.
The prime minister explained that his proposals have been discussed with Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev during their three unofficial meetings held between November and January in Dushanbe, St. Petersburg and Davos, Switzerland, saying he was eager to “carefully listen to counter-arguments of our colleagues. I think the constructive and effective solution or continuation must be within this logical framework.”
Last week, Aliyev rejected Yerevan’s proposal to include Artsakh in the negotiation process saying, “It is unacceptable, and it is an attempt to block the negotiations process.” Speaking at forum in Baku, again called on Armenia to withdraw its forces from the region.