YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan on Friday of hampering a compromise solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with “maximalist” demands and territorial claims to Armenia.
Pashinyan launched scathing attacks on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev as he chaired a meeting of Armenia’s and Karabakh’s Security Councils. He complained that Aliyev has never reciprocated his repeated calls for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal that would satisfy all parties to the conflict.
“It is obvious that with such [Azerbaijani] approaches we cannot anticipate real progress in the negotiation process, especially given that they are accompanied by war threats or territorial and direct or indirect historical claims to the Armenian people,” said Pashinyan.
Aliyev, he said, realizes that Baku’s attempts to end the conflict by force would provoke a “more than adequate response” from the Armenian military.
“For more than 15 years [Aliyev] has promised his own people to solve the Karabakh conflict through military force and under this guise they have spent billions of dollars which have very often … ended up on offshore accounts of known people,” Pashinyan went on. “And now he cannot explain to his own people why the reality is as it is.”
“He realizes that a possible [military] adventure would not only cause Azerbaijan irreversible devastation but also dismantle his anti-democratic regime,” claimed the Armenian premier. “And so in order to deflect people’s attention and get out of this deadlock he raises the temperature of his statements.”
For his part NKR President Araik Harutyunyan stated that Artsakh and Armenia have the same approaches towards achieving peace and preparing for war in the Karabakh conflict settlement.
He said the joint meeting of the Security Councils was an important platform for combining approaches and efforts, exchanging views on ways to solve the security problems facing the united homeland and the Armenian people.
“The first achievements of this kind of work are already noticeable, and I am sure that over time such achievements will grow, increasing the level of our security,” Harutyunyan said.
He expressed confidence that only with the effective coordination of state authorities and the collective efforts of society will it be possible to confront the existing challenges.
Harutyunyan stressed that in the fight against the invisible threat of coronavirus, vigilance should not be weakened, especially with regard to the visible danger that emanates from Azerbaijan.
“For decades, the Azerbaijani authorities have posed a threat to the existence of not only Artsakh, but the entire population of Armenia. Supporting an exclusively peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, we are at the same time forced to be ready for war every day. Being an integral part of a single homeland and a unified security system, Artsakh and Armenia fully share approaches and efforts to achieve peace and prepare for war,” Harutyunyan said.
According to him, this implies joint efforts to increase military potential, develop socio-economic opportunities, use a wide range of foreign policy tools to properly protect the rights and interests of the Armenian people and guarantee appropriate information and psychological security.
He said one of the main foundations of the security system is food and energy security, where the achievements are significant, but it is always necessary to continue work, along with new challenges and goals.
“Our task is to ensure as much as possible the self-sufficiency and flexibility of the food and energy system for any situation, in order to guarantee the strength and stability of military and socio-economic security. In this and a number of other aspects, the infrastructure is of strategic importance, and I am glad that we are already starting the construction of the third highway connecting Artsakh with Armenia,” Harutyunyan said.