Photo by Vahram Petrosyan

Photo by Vahram Petrosyan

STEPANAKERT — The Nagorno-Karabakh government expressed readiness to start dialogue with Azerbaijan on joint management of water resources, Karabakh Vice-Premier Arthur Aghabekyan told RFE/RL Armenian service.

He said the matter concerns the Sarsang reservoir, as well as waters flowing from Tartar River.

“Sarsang reservoir has more capacity than it is currently used. Both the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides will gain from proper use of water canals that were built during the Soviet era,” Aghabekyan said.

Unless Azerbaijan responds to cooperation calls, the Karabakh government will be obliged to make large investments in border regions to pump water resources located in the border areas only for its own territory.

If a dialogue is established, water resources can be used for the benefit of two sides.

“Eventually, it is a neighboring state. Today they are enemy, but tomorrow they can turn into merely an opponent. We have to prepare nations for peace gradually,” he said, noting Karabakh side’s readiness for near-border cooperation which envisages maintaining of ceasefire regime and mutual tolerance.

Residents of Terter region of Azerbaijan have recently staged several protest actions demanding that local authorities should provide water for agricultural works.

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