Thursday, 20 September

Artsakh Foreign Minister: 'Given Azerbaijan's continued belligerency, I feel it’s senseless to talk of mutual concessions'



Hetq sent NKR Minister of Foreign Affairs Karen Mirzoyan a few questions. Here are his answers.

Mr. Mirzoyan, you have yet to say anything officially, in the capacity of foreign affairs minister, regarding the extradition of the blogger Alexander Labshin to Azerbaijan. All we have heard is a comment by the ministry’s press office. Why?

In the diplomatic tradition, expressing a position regarding political issues on the daily agenda isn’t the monopoly of the foreign affairs minister. Our deputy foreign affairs minister and the ministry’s press office have already voiced comments and appraisals of Labshin’s case.

In your opinion, what political gain is at the root of the extradition for Azerbaijan and Belarus?

I’d say that in this case it would be more to the point to speak about the attempts of foisting on the outside world, a way of conducting affairs particular to a dictatorial regime, rather than pursuing political gains.

What possible changes to Azerbaijan’s diplomacy will result from Labshin’s extradition? Could it make Azerbaijan less restricted? Taking receipt of Labshin and Safarov is a diplomatic victory for Azerbaijan; a failure for Armenia. Please note where Armenian diplomacy was lacking.

Diplomacy isn’t a sports game, where victory and defeat are so clearly defined. Today’s short-term victories in diplomacy may later turn into resounding failure.

Months after last April’s four-day war, negotiations regarding the Karabakh conflict seem to have frozen again. The Armenian side claims there is no alternative to a solution other than the path of negotiations. Here, negotiations assume that mutual concessions will be made. Thus, what does Artsakh see in the way of concessions?

Given the continuous belligerent policy of Azerbaijan to trample the right of Artsakh Armenians for self-determination, I feel it’s senseless to talk of mutual concessions.

What about the concept of ‘land for peace’? This is approximately the formulation now circulating in Armenia’s political and civil sectors. On the other hand, the so-called liberated territories have been enshrined in the NKR Constitution as being part and parcel of the country. How, then, will this conflict be resolved?

Regarding foreign policy, we adhere to the constitution of the Republic of Artsakh.

Mr. Mirzoyan, what is the price of peace?

Peace is priceless.


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