The Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains a key challenge for Armenia and the region in general, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in his remarks at the PACE session, stating that like any democratic government, the Armenian government as well is dedicated to the principle of settling the conflict exclusively peacefully. Pashinyan said the recent democratic changes in Armenia brought new colors in the views of the Armenian side regarding the conflict settlement, reports Armenpress.
“Of course, the fact that we managed to launch quite constructive and positive dialogue with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, is very important, but I am sure that the dialogue only between the leaders is not enough for settling the conflict. It’s more important when dialogue launches between the societies so that we will prepare our populations to peace but not to war”, the PM said.
He stated that recently he announced at a press conference in Yerevan that social networks can be important platforms for this dialogue, however, at the moment Armenians and Azerbaijanis, unfortunately, are communicating with the language of insults and hatred in these networks.
The PM reminded that he has repeatedly stated in the Armenian Parliament that any option of the NK conflict settlement must be acceptable for the peoples of Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan.
“This is an unprecedented announcement in our reality and in fact is the formula that will allow to reach the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Unfortunately, we do not hear similar words from Azerbaijan now, and I hope that the message addressed from this peace tribune will receive a respective reaction among the Azerbaijani public”, he said.
Nikol Pashinyan said the PACE is the place where insult should be replaced by dialogue, provocation by constructive work.
“But unfortunately, the PACE tribune is sometimes being used for provoking wars. In this sense I should note that the 2016 January discussions at PACE on the NK conflict became the prelude of the April four-day war of that year and created favorable base for the launch of offensive operations by the Azerbaijani armed forces”, Pashinyan said, adding that today as well, unfortunately, attempts are made to involve other international platforms and the PACE in geopolitical games and conflicts, which contradicts the essence and mission of these structures.
He continued stating that they have considered and continue considering that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship must deal with the settlement of the NK conflict together with the three conflicting sides.
He emphasized that it is the OSCE Minsk Group format that has been created for forming a platform of dialogue for all sides of the conflict – Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia and today measures are being taken to restore the dialogue between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan within the Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship format.
“But what I said doesn’t mean at all that the CoE has nothing to do in the NK conflict zone. This organization, that is interested in the development of Human Rights and Democratic Institutions in Europe, pays zero attention to the issue of assisting the NGOs operating in Nagorno Karabakh. PACE doesn’t take any actions to strengthen the democratic institutions and develop the civil society in Nagorno Karabakh”, Pashinyan said.
The Armenian PM added that the explanation of this is that there are contradictions regarding the status of Nagorno Karabakh.
“But the talk in terms of the PACE action is not about the state status. If Nagorno Karabakh has not been internationally recognized as an independent state yet, is there an international debate over whether the people living in Nagorno Karabakh are people? Is the document more important for the CoE, as one of the global leaders of human rights, than the real person?
From this high tribute I want to call on the CoE structures and all organizations of Europe in general, which deal with human rights protection, freedom of speech and development of democratic institutions. Assist the people of Nagorno Karabakh to improve their laws and institutions, strengthen human rights, rule of law and independent judiciary. This will benefit the citizen, the person. And the person is more than any document, any political or group interest, and I believe that the Council of Europe and the PACE will be guided with these values”, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan said.