STEPANAKERT (Noyan Tapan)–Some Armenian newspapers have lately spread information signed by Vaghram Aghajanian alleging that the authorities of Lebanon have repeatedly stated their intention to recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. However–the foreign policy departmen’s of both Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh did not respond to these articles.
In this regard–the Press Service of the Karabakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the following explanation:
"In response to an inquiry made by the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs–our Republic’s Permanent Representative to the Middle East Karo Kebabjian said that the standpoint of Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabi Byrri was expressly stated in his interview to the Lebanese Ararat newspaper dated October 1999:
"Lebanon would support a referendum on the Karabakh people’s right to self-determination held in this republic under the UN auspices."
Byrri quoted the example of Quebec–saying that if that manner was appropriate in deciding the fate of this Canadian province–it might also be applicable in the case with Nagorno Karabakh.
"The Press Service of the Karabakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls public attention to the fact that articles deliberately distorting statemen’s of high-ranking officials of foreign states may considerably damage the prestige of Karabakh–and in the given case the good relations between the authorities of Nagorno Karabakh and Lebanon–the country where Karabakh’s Permanent Mission to the Middle East is based.
"The Karabakh Foreign Ministry regrets to inform that these and other irresponsible speculations by Aghajanian–especially in such an intricate realm as foreign policy–form a wrong opinion among the readers as to the level of competence and professionalism of journalists and the fourth estate of Karabakh as a whole–which–in its turn–undermines the prestige of our state."