Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

During Appearance on BBC News Program, Pashinyan Rules out Military Solution to Artsakh

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YEREVAN (Armenpress) — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan ruled out any military solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict during an appearance on the BBC news program “HARDTalk” on August 14.

He spoke about his proposed formula for the resolution of the situation.

“Peace can’t be achieved through the unilateral actions of Armenia because we will be able to have real peace if Azerbaijan will reciprocate Armenia’s efforts. Becoming Prime Minister of Armenia, I proposed a new formula for peace and the formula is the following: Any solution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be acceptable for people of Armenia, for people of Nagorno Karabakh and for people of Azerbaijan, and I am first Armenian leader ever saying that any solution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be acceptable for the Azerbaijani people too, but unfortunately the Azerbaijani president didn’t reciprocate my proposal,” Pashinyan said.

Speaking about his “Artsakh is Armenia, period” statement, Pashinyan noted that for many millennia Nagorno Karabakh has been populated with indigenous Armenian people.

“Artsakh name is aged for several thousand years. The document of UNSC didn’t mention Republic of Armenia or Armed Forces of Armenia, there is written about Nagorno Karabakh Armenians Self Defense forces. The reality is in the moment of this conflict 80-90 percent of population of Nagorno Karabakh was Armenian and Azerbaijan tried to clean this land from Armenians and conflict started from this moment.”

Pashinyan disagreed with host Stephen Sackur’s description of Armenia’s stance to be “nationalistic,” saying that Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh are facing an existential threat.

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“Azerbaijan is exercising the policy of isolation and blockade of Nagorno Karabakh, and for Armenia too. Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh are under existential threat, and we are proposing Azerbaijan to renounce any possibility of use of force for Nagorno Karabakh conflict solution we should agree on very simple formula that there is no military solution for Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Any war is a chain of tragedies, that’s why we say let’s refuse any possibility of using force for solution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict, and any peace is comprise, and Armenia was and is ready for compromise,” he said.

The Armenian PM also reminded about the Armenian victims of the Sumgait and Baku pogroms, noting that these tragedies had a key role in the NK conflict issue.

“The European Court has a catalogue on Azerbaijani atrocities against Armenians. We should mention the Sumgait events that happened in late 1980s, when the Azerbaijani government and Azerbaijanis initiated pogroms against Armenians of Sumgait city of Azerbaijan and in the capital,” he said.

He also spoke about Armenia’s strategic alliances with Russia and Iran.

“Russia is strategic partner of Armenia in terms of security. We are member of Eurasian Economic Union, which is economic union, and we have comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement with European Union and by the way now the European Union is our main partner in our reform agenda implementation. We have quite effective cooperation with NATO, and by the way we are participating in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, in Lebanon, in Kosovo, in Mali, and we have quite effective military cooperation with United States too,” he said.

Pashinyan reiterated that by saying “strategic” partnership he means long-term cooperation, and that at the same time Armenia has good relations with Iran and with the US.

“We have good relations with Iran and we are doing our best to keep our good relations with United States and with Iran, and in the same time be fully devoted to our international commitments.

When asked about the increasingly vocal opposition in Armenia, he said he did not mind. He said he was happy to see that the opposition in Armenia is currently much freer than before the 2018 revolution.

“Armenia is a democratic country and the opposition is free to express [themselves] and I am very glad that now opposition in Armenia is acting much easily than before the revolution,” Pashinyan said.

Pashinyan also added that in 2020 Armenia registered the largest two-year Democracy Score improvement in the history of the Freedom House’s Nations in Transit 2020 report.

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