Armenian Foreign Minister's article for Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily
Twenty five years ago, a cease-fire agreement was signed between Armenia, Karabakh and Azerbaijan. It is necessary to emphasize the role of Russia, as well as other countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group in signing this document and further maintaining the ceasefire, said Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in an article published in the Russian daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
“The end of the military phase of the Karabakh conflict created conditions for a peaceful life, building a free and stable society. Today, Nagorno-Karabakh is not the conflict, but also an independent political unit with a dynamic society striving for development. And yet, people's safety remains the most vulnerable issue,” he added.
According to him, during this time, the Azerbaijani side has repeatedly tried to break the established balance and re-create the prerequisites for a military solution to the conflict. “The peak of the escalation came in April 2016,” the FM said adding: “ The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs clearly and unequivocally insist that the parties strictly adhere to their obligations under the agreements of 1994-95.”
According to him, maintaining and strengthening the ceasefire by implementing confidence and security measures help stabilize the situation in the conflict zone and create favorable conditions for a peaceful negotiation process.
“In this context, the agreement between Armenian Prime Minister and Azerbaijani President on strengthening the cease-fire regime and creating a direct communication line between the parties, reached on the margins of the CIS summit in Dushanbe last fall, was of great importance. It is also important that these agreements on strengthening the cease-fire regime were reaffirmed at the Vienna summit this year,” he noted.
However, according to FM, the absence of institutional mechanisms for consolidating the ceasefire and early warning of possible escalation should be admitted, as it is a serious obstacle to the full implementation of the agreements of 1994 and 1995.
According to Mnatsakanyan, the conclusion of an armistice contributed to the elimination of the consequences of the military aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan.
“While the peace process, in its turn, should be aimed at addressing the root causes of the conflict, namely, Azerbaijan’s violation of the inalienable right of the people of Karabakh to self-determination. In this regard, the issue of physical security and the Nagorno-Karabakh status are the absolute priorities of Armenia in peaceful settlement,” the FM concluded.
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