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Edward Sharmazanov: The key to settlement of the Karabakh conflict is not in Washington or any other capital city but in the hands of the people of Karabakh

  • by Tatevik Shahunyan

  • Thursday, May 8, 17:00

 The key to settlement of the Karabakh conflict is not in Washington or any other capital city but in the hands of the people of Karabakh, vice-speaker of the Armenian parliament, press-secretary of the Republican Party of Armenia, Edward Sharmazanov, said at today's meeting with students of Yerevan Pedagogical University. 

Any conflict, including the Karabakh one, should be resolved through talks, Eduard Sharmazanov said. 

"In several days we will mark the 20th anniversary of ceasefire, and the Armenian side, on behalf of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, proved to support peaceful settlement of the conflict. We appreciate the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, but we must realize that even theoretical aspiration for military solution must be eliminated. While Armenian side continues to support peaceful settlement, Azerbaijan turned Armenophobia into ideology," Sharmazanov said.

He also added that the most important condition for settlement of the Karabakh issue is willingness of the parties to the conflict to make concessions, meanwhile, after the extradition of Ramil Safarov militaristic rhetoric of the official Baku has become contrary to the three principles of the OSCE Minsk Group - non-use of force, territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination.

"Azerbaijanis are guided only by the principle of territorial integrity. However, for the settlement of the conflict, the Nagorno -Karabakh Republic should become a full participant in the negotiations. It is impossible to reach a final positive outcome without this. And definite is one thing: NKR can not be a part of Azerbaijan", he said.    To recall, on 8 May The  U.S. Co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, made a speech  at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, and unveiled proposals from international mediators to resolve the Karabakh conflict. He called on the parties to take decisive steps and actions to achieve peace. According to him proposals for settlement  are at the negotiating table, and the parties should be guided by them.

At the heart of a deal are the UN Charter and relevant documents and the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act. In particular, we focus on those principles and commitments that pertain to 4 the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

Building on that foundation, there are six elements that will have to be part of any peace agreement if it is to endure. While the sequencing and details of these elements remains the subject of negotiations, they must be seen as an integrated whole. Any attempt to select some elements over others will make it impossible to achieve a balanced solution.

In no particular order, these elements are:

First, in light of Nagorno-Karabakh's complex history, the sides should commit to determining its final legal status through a mutually agreed and legally binding expression of will in the future. This is not optional. Interim status will be temporary.

Second, the area within the boundaries of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region that is not controlled by Baku should be granted an interim status that, at a minimum, provides guarantees for security and self-governance.
Third, the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh should be returned to Azerbaijani control. There can be no settlement without respect for

Azerbaijan's sovereignty, and the recognition that its sovereignty over these territories must be restored.
Fourth , there should be a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. It must be wide enough to provide secure passage, but  it cannot encompass the whole of Lachin district.

Fifth, an enduring settlement will have to recognize the right of all IDPs and refugees to return to their former places of residence.
Sixth and finally, a settlement must include international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation.
We intend to continue working through the Minsk Group as the primary channel for resolving this conflict, Warlick said. 

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