by Marianna Mkrtchyan
The Minsk Process has never been regarded as an instrument for settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, member of the Karabakh Committee, national security advisor of the first Armenian president Ashot Manucharyan said in an interview to ArmInfo, when asked to comment on the NKR Prime Minister's statement that the Madrid principles are not acceptable for Nagorno-Karabakh.
He said that the Minsk Process is a tool that helps Europe, the United States and Russia to meet their purposes in the region. "Each of them has different purposes, so, the conflict will hardly be settled soon. The Armenian authorities have never believed that the Minsk Group can solve anything. They just hoped that it would help them to find common grounds with their neighbors as far as peace and prosperity are concerned. But even the authors of this process are not always able to keep things as they are as this region is one of the most sensitive spots on the globe," Manucharyan said.
Concerning the NKR Premier's statement that Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh must reunify, Manucharyan said that the Armenian nation has always regarded the Nagorno-Karabakh movement as a reunification process. "In the 1980s we had a chance to reunify as the Soviet Constitution said that if any republic wished to secede it was free to organize a referendum and to decide its future. Nagorno-Karabakh held such a referendum but neither Baku nor Moscow recognized its results," Manucharyan said.
When asked if Nagorno-Karabakh's current position is closer to the position of the second Armenian President Robert Kocharyan than to the position of the incumbent one Serzh Sargsyan, Manucharyan said that all he knows is that Kocharyan once suggested giving Meghri to Azerbaijan. "Perhaps, he has changed his stance, I don't know. As regards the Madrid principles, anybody would accept them in Sargsyan's place as today the Armenian authorities are forced to comply with the policies of the great powers in the region," Manucharyan said.
Earlier NKR Prime Minister Ara Harutyunyan said that if Nagorno-Karabakh becomes a negotiating party again, it will reject the Madrid principles. Concerning the possibility of giving Azerbaijan back the seven districts around Nagorno-Karabakh, he said that for the Armenians all of the liberated territories are Artsakh. He also said that Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are a single state.