MUNICH — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan once again reaffirmed that Nagorno Karabakh has never been a part of independent state of Azerbaijan.
Participating at a panel discussion on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict together with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, the Armenian PM said he sees a necessity for new ideas for the negotiations of resolving the conflict.
“Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, this is the historical truth and … the territorial integrity is recognized by the whole world, and Nagorno-Karabakh is an integrated part of our country,” Aliyev said.
“Over the past 25 years, 30 years, we are repeating every time the same thing,” responded Pashinyan. “And I’m afraid that the international community is tired of hearing the same thing, and I think we need to bring some new ideas. And when I became Prime Minister of Armenia through the peaceful, Velvet, democratic Revolution, I understood that it isn’t possible to solve this conflict with one or two steps”
Commenting on Aliyev’s “overview” of history, Pashinyan said there was no need to go so far into the history. “I would ask President Aliyev not to go so far into the history because when Armenian King Tigran the Great was negotiating with Pompey, a Roman military leader, there wasn’t any country in the South Caucasus and around the world in general named Azerbaijan. So I don’t think that it is right to go so far because I can go even further and start from for example 400 BC, but I wouldn’t do that because I don’t think that it is right way to go”, he said.
Pashinyan said that the Caucasian Bureau decided for Karabakh to be a part of Armenia and this was totally a lawful decision. “And after that, according to the personal initiative of Joseph Stalin this decision changed in Moscow. It was like a plot between Stalin, Lenin and Ataturk. Karabakh has never been a part of independent state of Azerbaijan. Karabakh was put into Azerbaijan only in the process of forming the Soviet Union. And when we are speaking about territorial integrity, we should decide about which country territorial integrity we are speaking. My question is that if Azerbaijan respected territorial integrity of the Soviet Union, becoming independent country, as Azerbaijan left the Soviet Union in the same way as Nagorno Karabakh left the Soviet Union. You can say that I am now speaking about the country that doesn’t exist, meaning the Soviet Union, but the Soviet Republic which contained Nagorno Karabakh, also doesn’t exist, there is no Soviet Republic, Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan, and that is truth. And like Azerbaijan gained independence from the Soviet Union, in the same way Nagorno Karabakh gained independence both from the Soviet Union and from Soviet Azerbaijan”, Pashinyan said.
Commenting on Aliyev’s statements on Khojaly events, the Armenian PM reminded that in the mid-90s former president of Azerbaijan Ayaz Mutalibov in one of his interviews to a Russian newspaper stated that the provocation in Khojaly was organized by the Azerbaijani opposition to withdraw him from power. “And this happened actually because as a result of that event Ayaz Mutalibov was removed from the post of President of Azerbaijan”, Pashinyan said.
As for the UN Security Council resolutions, Pashinyan said the general meaning of these documents was to unconditionally and immediately establish ceasefire, stop any violence and military actions. “And if we will look at the UN Security Council Resolution 884, we will see that it is written there that Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire and as a result Azerbaijan lost territories. And first of all it is Azerbaijan that didn’t keep the conditions of the UN Security Council document. And this is very important to state”, Nikol Pashinyan said.
The public discussion moderated by a former senior U.S. defense official followed a brief meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders. No details of those talks were immediately made public.
Aliyev and Pashinian met in the southern German city two weeks after their foreign ministers concluded two days of negotiations in Geneva held in the presence of U.S., French and Russian mediators.