The Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan co-chaired the joint meeting of the Security Councils of Armenia. The main agenda was the joint assessment of the current situation in the peace settlement process and outlining coordinated actions.
Before starting the discussion, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan made speeches.
Opening his speech, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan welcomed the first joint meeting of the Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh during the existence of both states, noting that this symbolizes the beginning of a new quality of relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.
“I would like to underline that My Step Alliance received a strong mandate from people in the parliamentary election to take steps aimed at enhancing the level of the Republic of Artsakh as a subject and involving Artsakh in the negotiations on the settlement of the Artsakh issue as the main side of the conflict,” Prime Minister Pashinyan said.
“I would like to note that the involvement of Artsakh in the negotiations is not our caprice, nor a precondition, it is a simple record of the fact that the involvement of Artsakh is key to the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.
This position expresses our respect for not only the people of Artsakh and its rights but also all our partners participating in the process of negotiations because we are genuinely interested in and want to achieve a peace settlement of the issue and we believe in the process of negotiations the effectiveness of which is an important priority for us, and as I said, this issue is key to the effectiveness of the process of negotiations,” Mr Pashinyan said.
Prime Minister Pashinyan dismissed such comments as the Republic of Armenia or the prime minister with this position are shedding responsibility and placing it on the government or people of Artsakh. “To leave no room for manipulations, I would like to underline: the Republic of Armenia has always been the primary guarantor of security of Artsakh and will continue its involvement in the peace process.”
Commenting on the approach of the government of Armenia to the 3 principles and 6 components put forth by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs as the basis for negotiations, the Prime Minister of Armenia said we need important clarifications as to what these principles may mean in practice and who is entitled to interpret them. “This is important because the way Azerbaijan interprets these principles is unacceptable for us. We can offer our own interpretation of these principles but this is meaningless because our purpose is not a quarrel but an effective process of negotiations. Consequently, records that do not cause misinterpretations must become the basis for the process of negotiations. However, the principles, components suggested by the co-chairs, as I already said, caused most different and spatial interpretations in the past 10 years, hence the most important goal of the upcoming negotiations should be the clarification of the main notions, the 3 principles and 6 components, and we are ready for this conversation too.”
“The next important issue is to prepare the publics for peace. I would like to note that preparing publics for peace cannot be the exclusive task of any of the governments involved in the negotiations, and it is joint work. I mean, for example, that preparing the Azerbaijani public for peace must take place with the participation of not only the Azerbaijani but also the Armenian government. This awareness made me make a statement at the National Assembly of Armenia in the fall of 2018, which was an unprecedented statement for our reality, saying that any settlement of the Karabakh issue should be acceptable for the people of Armenia, the people of Artsakh and the people of Azerbaijan. This was my contribution to preparing for peace the publics of not only Armenia and Artsakh but also Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, we do not hear adequate statements, steps by the Azerbaijani president. Nevertheless, we are ready to continue the dialogue with not only the president of Azerbaijan but also the people of Azerbaijan because I believe that the people of Azerbaijan love peace as much as the people of Armenia, the people of Artsakh,” the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan said.
The President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan welcomed the first joint meeting of the Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh to discuss the most important and primary issues of our homeland, following intermediate meetings at different levels on diverse issues. He also underscored the meeting in the context of forming a national agenda.
President Bako Sahakyan provided a brief update on his meeting with the personal representative of the OSCE CiO on the situation at the line of contact and the process of negotiations. He also welcomed the opportunity given by the joint meeting to discuss economic issues and developments in the public life, as well as to outline the future tasks aimed at enhancing the level of security of the country and development in general.
During the discussions the members of the Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh evaluated the security system in Artsakh. It was reiterated that the defense capacity is guaranteed and at a high level. At the same time, the two Armenian sides highlighted their support and commitment to the peace process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs based n international law, particularly the exercise of the right to self-determination.
During the joint meeting it was underscored that the security and status of Artsakh remain the absolute priorities within the framework of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Peace building, risk reduction and introduction of mechanisms for prevention of incidents and confidence building measures were underlined, as laid down during the summits in Dushanbe, and earlier in Vienna and Saint Petersburg.