RA Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić made a joint announcement at the RA MFA

YEREVAN — A comprehensive peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan should address the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh’s future status, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan insisted on Friday.

Mirzoyan discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric during her visit to Yerevan.

“I particularly emphasized the fact that by attempting to resolve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict by the use of force in 2020, as well as by invading the sovereign territory of Armenia, Azerbaijan has grossly violated its commitments undertaken with the accession to the Council of Europe, and this must be properly addressed by the Council of Europe and its member-states”, the Armenian FM said during a joint press conference with the CoE Secretary General following their meeting.

“I reaffirmed the Armenian government’s readiness to make efforts to establish peace and stability in the region,” he said after their meeting. “In this context, it is fundamental to address the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which should include the key provisions of ensuring the security and all rights of the Artsakh people and determining Nagorno-Karabakh’s status.”

“The people of Artsakh have the same rights as everyone and the fact of being in the conflict zone cannot deprive the Armenians of Artsakh of their universal fundamental rights”, Mirzoyan highlighted. “The humanitarian issues resulting from the aggression unleashed against Artsakh – the issues of the return of Armenian prisoners of war held in Azerbaijan and the humanitarian access to Artsakh remain unresolved, the politicization of which is unacceptable. The Anti-Armenian and warmongering rhetoric, physical and psychological terror against the civilian population are unacceptable in the same way.

We believe that the Council of Europe, its relevant bodies and leaders should be more determined at least in the issues of Armenian prisoners of war and the humanitarian access to Artsakh, and put utmost effort so that the the interim decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, PACE Resolutions and the provisions of the memorandum of the Commissioner for Human Rights issues on November 8, 2021, be respected”, he added.

Mirzoyan’s comments came the day after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev warned Armenia against bringing up Karabakh’s status in peace talks with Azerbaijan. Aliyev again said that Azerbaijan’s victory in the 2020 war with Armenia put an end to the conflict and even Karabakh’s existence as a territorial unit.

“If Armenia continues to call into question Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity then Azerbaijan will have no choice but do the same [with regard to Armenia,]” he said.

Aliyev on Thursday also implicitly threatened to resort to military action if the Armenian side continues to oppose the opening of a land corridor connecting Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave.

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