The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved by military force, France’s outgoing chief Karabakh negotiator said on Wednesday in a warning that seemed primarily addressed to Azerbaijan.
“This conflict cannot have a military solution. That’s impossible,” Bernard Fassier said during a farewell trip to Armenia.
“Although France fortunately managed to win back our territories that were under German occupation [during World War One,] it is now evident that the price which we paid for that victory was too high. We lost so many people,” Fassier told a news conference in Yerevan.
“I said this in Paris recently in order to demonstrate that even for Azerbaijan war would not be a reasonable solution,” he said. “I don’t know who can win a new war but for everyone, not just winners but also losers, it would a nightmare: new bloodshed, new hatred, new refugees.”
Azerbaijan regularly threatens to forcibly win back Karabakh and other Armenian-controlled territories surrounding the disputed enclave. The Armenian side condemns and at the same time dismisses these threats, saying that Baku would suffer another defeat in case of attempting a military solution to the dispute.
The Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also stands for a peaceful settlement. Fassier has served its French co-chair for the past seven years. He will be replaced by another French diplomat next month.
Fassier spoke to journalists after meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian and other Armenian officials.