Sargsyan: Armenia was not against presence of peacekeepers in Karabakh, but wants “final settlement”

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who was in Germany on an official visit earlier this week, told a leading German broadcaster that Armenia did not speak against the presence of peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, but added that the conflict should get “a final settlement.”

“We never said that we are against it, however we believe that the conflict should have a final settlement. We expressed our readiness to sign a relevant document, which implied presence of peacekeepers. However Azerbaijan refused this,” Sargsyan told Deutsche Welle.

Peacekeeping forces are a guarantee for non-resumption of hostilities, said Levon Zurabyan, the leader of the Armenian National Congress (ANC) parliamentary faction.

“If, according to the resolution, Armenian forces pull back from some positions, isn’t it clear that the wall of peacekeepers will not allow Azerbaijani forces to enter those territories? Or if those territories are left empty, then it can cause a threat of aggression by Azerbaijan,” said Zurabyan at a press briefing at the National Assembly on Friday.

The issue of peacekeepers was also part of the Kazan deal that Russia offered to Armenia and Azerbaijan back in 2011. Armenia said Azerbaijan rejected it then.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who made the offer to the sides as the then president of Russia, paid a visit to Armenia on April 7 during which the latest outbreak of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh in which dozens were killed on both sides was discussed. He traveled to Baku today for talks with the Azerbaijani leadership.

Commenting on Medvedev’s visit, Armenian political analyst Levon Shirinyan said today that it was rather an “inspection” trip.

“The Artsakh defense army upset plans of at least two major powers: those of an arch-enemy and a hostile friend. The Azerbaijani-Turkish projects have failed, while Russia’s desire to make us more dependent on it also failed. The president’s statement made in Europe proves that,” he told media on Friday.