YEREVAN — Aggravating tensions in relations between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine complicate the work of international mediators on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan acknowledged on Wednesday.

During a question-and-answer session of government members in parliament Mirzoyan, however, stressed that the international community continues to see a settlement of the issue within the format of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs involving Russia, the United States, and France.

“The ongoing hostilities in Ukraine have sharply complicated the work of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs up until the level of joint discussions, but based on very specific, certain signals and messages that I have been receiving from the co-chair countries and many other countries, I want to reaffirm that the international community continues to see the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the context of the Minsk Group co-chairmanship. And this is quite encouraging,” the top Armenian diplomat said.

“We work on a daily basis to be able to organize a discussion under the [Minsk Group] co-chairmanship, including with the latest proposals,” Mirzoyan added.

The Armenian foreign minister reiterated that Yerevan saw nothing unacceptable in the five-point proposal of Azerbaijan for starting negotiations around a peace treaty with Armenia. He repeated that at the same time Armenia deems that it “does not fully address the possible agenda of comprehensive peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Baku insists that a future peace treaty with Yerevan should be based on five fundamental principles, including mutual recognition of each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual reaffirmation of the absence of territorial claims to each other and a legally binding obligation not to make such claims in the future, abstaining from threatening each other’s security, delimitation and demarcation of the border with the establishment of diplomatic relations and unblocking of transport links.

In a recent interview with the state-run Armenpress news agency Mirzoyan said it is vital for the Armenian side that “the rights and freedoms of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenians be clearly guaranteed, and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh be finally clarified.” “For us, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not a territorial issue, but a matter of rights,” he said.

“One of the key points of our proposals is that the issue of the rights and status of Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh remains a matter of principle for us. It is impossible to call it a complete agenda until this issue is discussed there,” Mirozyan explained in parliament today.

On March 14, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said that it had applied to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs requesting that they organize Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations on a peace treaty “on the basis of the UN Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Helsinki Final Act.”

The foreign minister said that Armenia was informed by the Co-Chairs that its proposals had been passed on to Azerbaijan. He said, however, that Baku has not responded to Yerevan’s proposals yet.

 

 

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