Citing the need to identify the initiators of ceasefire violations along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday called for introducing international monitoring mechanisms, which he said would play a significant role in de-escalating tension and will help stabilize the situation.
Speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting, Pashinyan said that calls by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to refrain from provocations was acceptable for Armenia.
“I’ve said this before and I still think that pointing out the the side that initiate ceasefire violations and a targeted condemnation of those provocations will be significantly important for future de-escalation and stabilization of the situation,” said Pashinyan.
“Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine such a function without introducing an international monitoring mechanism. I have addressed this issue at the July 29 Cabinet meeting, by saying that this must be a CSTO monitoring mission, and if this isn’t acceptable for the CSTO, the alternative left is a monitoring mission by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs,” Pashinyan explained.
Pashinyan reminded that during the July 29 Cabinet meeting he outlined the Armenian government’s viewpoint over de-escalation in the region, actions for establishing lasting peace and stability, and emphasized Armenia’s readiness to work with international partners in this direction.
Armenia is ready to be involved in peaceful negotiations with Azerbaijan in all levels and is waiting for concrete proposals, Pashinyan said, apparently referring to a recent statement b the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs who called for the resumption of the negotiations process.
“The mandate received from our people on opening an era of peaceful development for Armenia, Artsakh and the region puts a special responsibility on the government. In order to solve this issue we must be maximally active and flexible. Our mood must be the following – to do the maximum to find solutions by the existing issues on the agenda,” Pashinyan said.
The prime minister, once again, said that the so-called “unblocking and opening of regional communications” with neighboring countries must continue, saying Armenia is convinced that “lasting peace, stability, security and economic development in the region requires the development or establishment of normal relations with neighboring countries.”
“The deepening or settlement of relations with bordering countries will be one of the important facets of our government’s foreign policy. In this context, I must note, that some entities are attempting to show Armenia’s intentions in a bad light, claiming that Armenia has declared military reforms a priority in the context of engaging in aggressive policy against bordering countries,” said Pashinyan.
“Armenia, like any other peace-loving country, will develop and transform its military not for aggression but for defending itself from any potential aggression, and we don’t have any intentions to conquer others. Our intention is the protection of our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We don’t have any aggressive intentions, and regional peace and stability is our long-term strategy. We are ready to engage in active dialogue around this agenda, with support of our international partners, if necessary also through direct contacts,” explained Pashinyan.