Pashinyan Rules Out Settling Karabakh Conflict Without Backing of Armenian People
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says his government will never back a solution to the Karabakh conflict that isn’t acceptable to the Armenian people.
Pashinyan made the statement during a press conference today in Yerevan when he was asked if the Karabakh issue was discussed during a recent meeting he had with Levon Ter-Petrosyan, Armenia’s first president.
When asked if the two had discussed the prospect of mutual Armenian and Azerbaijani concessions as a way to achieve a Karabakh settlement, Pashinyan answered by asking if Baku was ready to discuss such a scenario.
“I think it’s procedurally wrong to ask the representative of Armenia whether conceding territory for some kind of status is acceptable or not. Has anyone asked if such a scenario is acceptable for Azerbaijan,” Pashinyan replied, adding that the matter of mutual concessions would be discussed only when Azerbaijan signals it is willing to explore the possibility.
“We will discuss the issue of mutual concessions, but the discussion will be nationwide and within the government,” Pashinyan said.
Regarding his meeting with Ter-Petrosyan, Pashinyan said the former president wanted to provide him with information regarding settling the Karabakh conflict that Ter-Petrosyan thought he might not have.
“It was a beneficial conversation, but there wasn’t any information that I didn’t already know about,” Pashinyan said.
The prime minister noted that since being elected in May, he’s strived to bring himself up to speed on the Karabakh issue and has met with former Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian.
Pashinyan said that Artsakh must be included in the final stage of the Karabakh settlement process.
“This doesn’t mean that we cannot talk about settling the issue. We are ready to talk to Azerbaijan. But when we use the word negotiation, there must be something to negotiate and an atmosphere of confidence,” Pashinyan said, adding that the warmongering tirades of Azerbaijan are unacceptable.