Stepanakert’s Perspective: President Sahakyan says Karabakh’s return to negotiating table necessary

Any solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict suggested during negotiations will be incomplete without full participation of Artsakh, announced the unrecognized republic’s President Bako Sahakyan late on Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference in Stepanakert, the Karabakh leader suggested that the only correct option is their return as a full party to the process held within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.

“According to the decision of the 1994 Budapest Summit Nagorno-Karabakh is a party to the conflict and that fact still accurate legally. Therefore, it is necessary to completely revise this requirement as it has a clear existence. The latest developments are a basis for the international community to return to the full format of the negotiation process,” he said.

“We have our own views and, why not, requirements toward the current situation and will present them to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs,” added the Nagorno-Karabakh president who met with the mediators after the press conference to discuss the current situation after four days of deadly fighting at the frontlines with Azerbaijan.

“The conflict by its nature is such that our demand to return to the negotiation table is logical. There is no conflict in the world where solutions are obtained without the main actor.”

Sahakyan and OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Igor Popov, of Russia, James Warlick, of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu, of France, as well as the Personal Representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk discussed issues related to large-scale military operations that broke out last week as they met in Stepanakert late on Thursday.

President Sahakyan reportedly described the aggression of Azerbaijan as one of the greatest perils to stability and peace in the South Caucasus and the neighboring regions, qualifying it as a serious challenge to the civilized world, too.

He also underlined that he expects “tough and targeted” assessments and actions from the OSCE Minsk Group towards what he described as a destructive policy of Azerbaijan.

Sahakyan also expressed regret that the international community’s attention is directed to Artsakh only during escalations and added that despite the tense situation he believes in the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the conflict.