Armenia rushed to officially recognize South Sudan on Saturday, with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian touting its declaration of independence as a blueprint for resolving other ethnic and territorial conflicts.
“The declaration of independent statehood in South Sudan is a realization of peoples’ equality and impregnable right to self-determination and yet another example of the civilized resolution of conflicts,” Nalbandian said in a special written statement.
The Armenian government as well as Nagorno-Karabakh’s leadership welcomed last January an internationally recognized referendum in South Sudan that cleared the final hurdle to its secession from the country’s north. Nalbandian said the referendum outcome highlighted “the victory march of the right of self-determination.”
Official Yerevan and Karabakh hope that the emergence of a new state in Africa will set another precedent for a resolution of the Karabakh conflict sought by them. Nalbandian insisted in January that South Sudan’s independence will strengthen the Armenian case for international recognition of Karabakh’s secession from Azerbaijan.
The principle of self-determination has long been championed by the Armenian side in its negotiations with Azerbaijan. The United States, Russia and France — which have been jointly mediating those talks — recognize it along with the territorial integrity of states. A combination of the two principles is at the heart of the “basic principles” of a Karabakh settlement put forward by them.

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