STEPANAKERT—One day after a meeting between presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev in Vienna, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it emphasized the importance of including Karabakh in the negotiation process, reported the respective press offices.
“The resumption of high level meetings between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan after a long break is important from the perspective of the intensification of the peaceful settlement process of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Karabakh and maintaining peace and stability in the region,” said the statement.
“We believe that the meeting proves that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement and serves to ensure its irreversibility,” added the statement.
“At the same time, we consider it necessary to note that real progress in the settlement process could only be reached by taking into consideration the existing realities and with the restoration of full-format negotiations with direct and immediate participation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in all its stages,” said the ministry.
Speaking to students on the eve of the summit, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian emphasized that he has expressed to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen his trepidations about the so-called Madrid Principles, on which the negotiations are based.
“We have always had reservation regarding the Madrid Principles, and we have said this on many occasions,” said Sahakian, signaling that official Stepanakert is anticipating new approaches from the mediators, without undermining the role of the Minsk Group co-chairmen.
Sahakian also told student about certain agreements reached with the co-chairmen in 2007, among them an understanding that any meeting taking place between the co-chairmen and Karabakh authorities must take place in Stepanakert.
“In 2007 I told the Co-Chairs I refuse to meet with them in Yerevan. They respect my request and continue to visit Artsakh themselves,” explained Sahakian.