YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Only after firm guarantees of security and self-determination for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh can Armenia consider the return of the liberated territories as envisioned by the so-called Madrid Principles, said President Serzh Sarkisian Monday.
While on an official visit to Syria, Sarkisian spoke to the Al-Wattan newspaper, outlining Armenia’s position on the Karabakh conflict, as well as Armenia-Turkey relations.
“When the people of Karabakh get a true chance to realize their right to self-determination and mechanisms for security and development are created, then in compromise the Armenian side can consider the return of the regions around Karabakh, preserving the corridor linking Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia,” said Sarkisian.
He spoke of the importance for mutual concessions in the peace process, explaining that “unilateral concessions will deepen the existing dangers and threats.”
Sarkisian warned that continued military threats from Azerbaijan are hampering efforts to reach a comprehensive peace deal, adding that while Azerbaijan announced that it was in favor of the revised Madrid Principles, it was doing so under its own interpretations.
Sarkisian also suggested that Turkey’s reluctance to unconditionally normalize relations with Armenia is only facilitating a broader international recognition of the Armenian genocide.
“One thing is clear to me. The longer the process of normalizing our relations [with Turkey] lasts, the larger the number of states adopting such resolutions may become,” said Sarkisian when asked to comment about the passage, by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, of the Armenian Genocide resolution.
Yerevan has welcomed the Congressional effort as well as the passage of a similar resolution by the parliament in Sweden.
“I don’t find right attempts to link that [normalization] process with the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by other countries,” said Sarkisian, who added that official Yerevan has not placed the recognition of the Genocide as a precondition for normalizing relations with Turkey.