Nagorno-Karabakh Republic authorities express readiness to dialogue with Azerbaijan over water resources.
STEPANAKERT—The authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have expressed their willingness to begin discussions with their counterparts in Baku over the governance of water resources on the border of Artaskh and Azerbaijan, reported the Armenian Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Aghabegyan told RFE/RL that the focus of the discussions would be the development of water reservoirs from the Sarsang Dam and the Tartar river.
This follows days of demonstrations by residents near the Tartar River on the Azerbaijan side, demanding local Azeri authorities to provide adequate water for agriculture in the area.
Aghabegyan said that the Sarsang Dam, located in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, has great potential and if the waterways constructed during the Soviet era were to be used in the proper manner both Karabakh and Azerbaijan can benefit from the water resources.
Aghabegyan argued that if Azerbaijan rejects the dialogue offer, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will make large-scale investments to create pumping stations to re-direct border-area water resources to only serve Artsakh proper.
“We use the water from Sarsang to produce electricity and the calendar is calibrated to meet only our needs. In the event of the cooperation, we can utilize those resources to serve both [Karabakh and Azerbaijan],” explained Aghabegyan.
The deputy prime minister said that Karabakh has always been willing to cooperate with Azerbaijan, which while it is the enemy today, is never the less a neighbor. He insisted that through this type of cooperation the population on both sides can be prepared for an eventual peace, that in his words, will follow the adherence to the cease-fire regime leading to a mutual understanding between the two countries.