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Trdat Musheghyan

Artsakh Issue Missing in Armenia-Azerbaijan Talks, Says Robert Kocharyan

 Former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, during a press conference today in Yerevan, said that Artsakh was the basis for the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and relations between the two countries cannot be normalized by circumventing the Artsakh issue.

"If there is progress in today's negotiations, it can be inferred that there is an agreement on the issue of Artsakh, whether stated or not. The fact that the terms Republic of Artsakh, self-determination, sovereignty have completely disappeared from the vocabulary of Armenian officials indicates that we have a serious problem. Azerbaijan says that the Karabakh issue is settled, that there is nothing to discuss about Karabakh. As far as I know, Armenia does not oppose this approach," Kocharyan said.

Kocharyan said if this situation continues, future negotiations on the Artsakh issue will be in the Baku-Stepanakert-Moscow format and that the Artsakh government authorities of Artsakh have resigned themselves to this eventuality.

Kocharyan said the Artsakh government believes Armenia has given up on Artsakh and this has forced Stepanakert to cooperate with Baku to ensure gas, electricity and communications so that Armenians remain on the land.

The former president said this increased dependency on Azerbaijan poses risks for the Artsakh people.  

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