TIRANA — The Nagorno Karabakh is not a territorial dispute, it’s a conflict about the rights of the Armenians to live the way they like in the territory which has been theirs for several centuries, for thousands of years, Ambassador Tigran Mkrtchyan said in an interview with Public Radio and Television of Albania.
The Ambassador noted that after the 44-fay war Azerbaijan has tried to capitalize on its victory which it gained with the support of Turkey, “but we believe that any conflict especially such conflicts need a fair, just solution where there are no absolute winners and absolute losers.”
“After the conflict, Azerbaijan firstly resisted using the term Nagorno-Karabakh region. They are saying, the Azerbaijani leader is saying, that there is no region called Nagorno-Karabakh for example. Additionally, the Azerbaijani leadership also is saying there is no Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the conflict is solved, and it’s in the past. This is what they say,” Ambassador Mkrtchyan said.
“Additionally and the third point is that they’re saying that the internationally mandated format called OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, this format consisting of America (United States), France, and Russia, they’re saying that this format does not exist anymore, it’s a thing of the past,” he added.
But the reality, he said, is that the Nagorno-Karabakh region exists, there are Armenians who live there and there are Russian peacekeepers located there which came there by the agreement signed between the Azerbaijani president, Armenian prime minister, and Russian president, so Azerbaijanis gave agreement to having the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh and in that agreement, there is the term Nagorno-Karabakh.
Therefore, the Ambassador said, it’s not up to Azerbaijan to delete the name of Nagorno Karabakh from history.
“Similarly, the conflict has not been solved yet. In 2020 there was use of force, there was a violation of all the international principles and international law to impose a solution by the use of force, but the conflict as such has not been resolved because the root cause of the conflict is about the status of Nagorno-Karabakh and this has not been solved yet. And this is the opinion of not only ours, not only Armenia but the international community is of that opinion that the conflict has not been solved and it needs to be solved. And it’s not accidental that in the very last statement of the president of the Council of Europe Charles Michel, he mentioned through his spokesperson, it was mentioned that the root causes of the conflict of Karabakh need to be addressed,” the Ambassador emphasized.
He said since the signing of the November 9th statement there have been continuous provocations in Nagorno Karabakh and on the borders with Armenia.
“Violation of the November 9th statement has been constant and continues, Azerbaijani forces have even occupied several areas on the border area of Armenia, territories of Armenia proper and l Armenian prisoners of war are still held in Baku despite the calls of the international community,” Tigran Mkrtchyan said.
He noted that the Azerbaijani leadership is glorifying those who have taken part in war crimes during the war and the anti-Armenian rhetoric is at a peak.
Speaking about Armenian-Turkish relations, the Ambassador said they have historically been quite difficult. “Since independence in 1991, there were plans, there were mutual aspirations to establish diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey, but these relations were not established and the borders were not fully opened because of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey conditioned the normalization of Armenian Turkish relations and opening of borders with Armenia upon the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. So in the early 1990s, this attempt to normalize relations failed,” he said.
Tigran Mkrtchyan noted that Turkey and Armenia have appointed special envoys for normalizing relations.
“The envoys have met already a few times in Moscow, in Vienna, the foreign ministers met in Antalya, also there are planned meetings in Armenia and Turkey, I mean in the near future hopefully. All of these meetings are taking place under the condition that the process of normalization is going ahead without preconditions again. It is too early to make any conclusions but let’s live and see how it will progress,” Tigran Mkrtchyan stated.