YEREVAN — The policy of peace is not a policy of defeat, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a joint session of the Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) held in Yerevan on Friday.

“I want to say that the agenda of peace is not an agenda of defeat,” he told Arayik Harutyunyan, the Karabakh president, and other senior Karabakh officials. “The agenda of peace is an agenda of overcoming the horrors of war and the difficulties that followed the war and guaranteeing the security, rights and future of the people.”

“A very important principle is that the Artsakh people should live in Artsakh, consider themselves Armenians, and this is the agenda that we should promote together,” he said.

The prime minister also noted that the first beneficiary of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is Artsakh and the people of Artsakh.

“We are always in direct communication with the president of Artsakh, our other colleagues are working together with our colleagues from Artsakh,” he said.

Harutyunyan confirmed his support for the “agenda of peace.” But he also stressed: “On the other hand, I want to make clear that we see no way of deviating from our right to self-determination.”

He stressed that any topic or document must be discussed with the Artsakh authorities and proceed from the sentiments of the people.

“Otherwise it is simply impossible. We also understand that there will be a long political struggle,” he said.

He also attached importance to the social and economic programs implemented in Artsakh, saying they must be continued.

Pashinyan noted that a large layer of joint work concerns socio-economic issues. “It is fundamentally important that we do everything to ensure that people live in Artsakh, feel safe. It is also about the residents of Armenia, of course, and I am confident that we are moving in the right direction,” he said.



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