YEREVAN — President Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday again blamed Azerbaijan for recent ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and the lack of progress in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.
“The policy adopted by Azerbaijan in the past year, its bellicose statements and unfounded self-confidence are causing tension both on the [Karabakh] line of contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” he told a joint news conference with Austria’s visiting President Heinz Fischer. “And it was not accidental that as a result of those provocations young men were killed and the situation escalated in the last several weeks.”
“The situation around Nagorno-Karabakh remains a challenge for the security of both the region and Europe. We see no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. But, unfortunately, the policy of Azerbaijan during the past year, its militarist statements and unjustified arrogance causes tension both near the line of contact in the conflict zone and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” said the President of Armenia.
Sarkisian claimed that the peace process is deadlocked because Azerbaijan accepts only one of three internationally recognized principles that are at the heart of peace proposals made by the three mediating powers.
“While claiming to agree to these three principles, Azerbaijan in reality accepts only one of them: the principle of territorial integrity of states,” he said. “It rejects peoples’ right to self-determination and the principle of peaceful solutions to conflicts. So when these principles are really accepted, the conflict will be resolved.The latest flair-up in violence along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and near Nagorno-Karabakh occurred on June 4-6 amid the regional tour of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At least nine soldiers on both sides were killed in the border clashes.