STEPANAKERT — The annual press conference of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Karen Mirzoyan took place on December 28. NKR MFA press service reports.

Karen Mirzoyan briefed on the activities of the Foreign Ministry during the year and noted that in 2016, too, the priorities of the NKR foreign policy agenda were the international recognition of the independence of Artsakh and the peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.

The Foreign Minister noted that during the year, the most serious challenges facing the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in general and the Foreign Ministry in particular were the large-scale aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan on April 2 and the elimination of its consequences. In this context, the Foreign Ministry has taken consistent steps to inform the international community about the causes and consequences of the April aggression, to reach the condemnation of the aggression, blatant violations of international humanitarian law, and the war crimes committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces during that period. In particular, the NKR MFA circulated relevant notes in different international organizations, as well as contributed to the dissemination of the information provided by other state agencies and institutions of the NKR. Thanks to the work carried out with the mass media, the situation on the ground caused by the aggression and the stance of Artsakh on the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict were presented to the international audience.

Touching upon the process of the peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, Karen Mirzoyan noted that, first of all, the efforts should be focused on ensuring stability and predictability on the Line of Contact, as well as creating necessary conditions for resuming the negotiations. Realization of the agreements, reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg, will become a serious step in this direction.

The NKR Foreign Minister reiterated that real progress in the process of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement can only be reached if the trilateral format of the negotiations is restored and the NKR, as a full-fledged party, directly participates in all its stages. Karen Mirzoyan also noted that against the background of the April aggression it had become especially evident that any proposal, which can pose even a minimal threat to the independence and security of the country, is unacceptable for the NKR people and authorities.

Karen Mirzoyan also noted that the international recognition of Artsakh is the dictate of time as an efficient means of preventing another aggression by Azerbaijan. The Foreign Minister expressed confidence that the international recognition of the NKR would also positively impact the peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, ensuring its irreversibility, and allow focusing on the development of necessary mechanisms and conditions for the peaceful coexistence of two independent and sovereign states.

Karen Mirzoyan assured that in 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to work consistently for the international recognition of Artsakh and expansion of international cooperation on different levels.

Karen Mirzoyan also spoke about Russia’s role in the region and Artsakh’s relations with the RF.

“Our friendship with Russia dates back centuries ago. We are historically linked with that country politically, economically and culturally. Armenia’s largest Diaspora is in Russia, some of them originate from Artsakh who are linked with their historical motherland”.

Speaking about Russian-Turkish relations, the Minister stated, “Russia has a key role in our region. That country strives for normal and natural relations with neighboring countries, including Turkey.

The more Russia’s relations with regional states are stable, the more regional security will be fostered”, Mirzoyan said.

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