STEPANAKERT—The prime minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Ara Harutunian said Monday that the so-called Madrid Principles, based on which the OSCE Minsk Group is mediating a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, are “unacceptable,” reported RFE/RL.
Harutunian, who conducted an online chat with reporters, asserted that the Madrid Principles called for too much territorial concessions from Karabakh.
The prime minister said that if Karabakh was a party to the negotiations it would oppose the provisions of the Madrid Principles, which call for the return of liberated territories to Azerbaijan. He argued that the seven territories are part and parcel of the Artsakh Republic.
Harutunian was asked about a recent interview in Al Vatan newspaper by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, in which he said that when Karabakh is granted its right to self-determination and conditions are created to ensure its security, then the discussion of returning those territories to Azerbaijan can take place, without conceding the territorial link between Armenia and Karabakh.
While Harutunian did not directly address Sarkisian’s statements, he made it clear that the territories in question are Artsakh, adding that the government is expending resources to develop those areas, through investments and other projects.
The prime minister also touched on recent statement vis-à-vis Armenia’s relations with Karabakh as they related to Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, whereby Sarkisian has repeatedly said that Karabkh is not part of Armenia and will not be joining the Eurasian Union with Armenia.
“I can say one thing,” said Harutunian, “there never will be a customs check point or a border between Armenia and Karabakh. There has never been one and there will never be a customs border or check point.”