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Armenian Foreign Ministry Responds to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's Speech at Valdai Discussion Club

The following is an Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

We have to state that there is nothing new in the speech by the President of Azerbaijan. The maximalist stance of Azerbaijan, which has been the main and essential threat to the peace process, remains unchanged even despite the recent agreements reached, which implies preparing peoples for peace.

The formula proposed by the Prime-Minister Nikol Pashinyan - the settlement should be acceptable to the peoples in Armenia, Artsakh and Azerbaijan - is aimed at bringing that very commitment to prepare peoples for peace to a more practical dimension.

This formula is aimed at making the idea of compromise acceptable to all sides, engaging societies in creating an environment conducive to peace, as well as enshrining the responsibility and accountability of the leaders before their people.

In his response to the Armenian side, President of Azerbaijan made no reference to the necessity of peaceful solution for the peoples of the region. Moreover, he casted doubt on the existence of Artsakh people on their own historical homeland.

In order to substantiate its maximalist approach Azerbaijan has always used rhetoric of dehumanizing Artsakh and the Armenian people overall. Such instances of demunaization include pardon of Ramil Safarov by the President of Azerbaijan and his glorification, atrocities committed against peaceful citizens and soldiers during April aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh, ethnic cleansing of Armenians from the Artsakh territories under the Azerbaijani occupation and erasing the Armenian historical presence and traces on the territory of Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani maximalist rhetoric and dehumanization of the people of Artsakh create existential security threat to people of Artsakh. Effectively countering this threat is an all-Armenian issue, which was best formulated through the commitment undertaken by the authorities of Armenia before the people of Artsakh, on August 5.

Armenia is confident that peaceful settlement of the conflict and the victory of democracy in the region has no alternative and in that sense attaches importance to fulfilling the commitment to prepare peoples for peace.

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