YEREVAN — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan argued today that former presidents Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan had recognized Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) as part of Azerbaijan.

“Throughout the negotiation process, both Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan and the political parties in their orbits had recognized Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan and or were not guided by the principle that Artsakh will never be part of Azerbaijan,'” Pashinyan said Wednesday in parliament.

As a proof he cited Kocharyan’s accord back in 1998 to accept as a basis for negotiations the proposal of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the so-called “Common State,” one of the clauses of which read that ” Nagorny Karabakh is a state-territorial formation in the form of a republic and constitutes a common state with Azerbaijan in the latter’s internationally recognized borders.”.

The same document stated that ‘residents of Artsakh will have a passport of a citizen of Azerbaijan with special stamp’, Pashinyan said.

“Kocharyan, Sargsyan and the ARF/Dashnaktsutyun party knew about it. It was strange that they didn’t respond to the co-chairs’ proposal that Artsakh would never be part of Azerbaijan. On the contrary, accepting that proposal they not only didn’t rule out that Artsakh could be part of Azerbaijan, but also agreed with the key logic that Artsakh must be part of Azerbaijan,” Pashinyan said.

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