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Pashinian Deplores ‘Azeri Intransigence’ On Karabakh


Armenia -- Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (C) and members of his government attend a question-and-answer session in the parliament, Yerevan, March 6, 2019.

Azerbaijan is reluctant to accept a compromise solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on Wednesday ahead of his anticipated fresh talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Speaking in the Armenian parliament, Pashinian complained that Baku has not reciprocated his recent calls for a Karabakh settlement that would be acceptable to the peoples of not only Armenia and Karabakh but also Azerbaijan.

“Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani side has still not made similar statements,” he said. “On the contrary, it constantly speaks of its readiness for and the possibility of a military solution to the problem. There are statements which make it clear that Azerbaijan’s government is not even thinking about any variant of the conflict’s resolution that would also be acceptable to the people of Armenia and Karabakh.”

Pashinian dismissed Baku’s offers to grant Karabakh a high degree of autonomy. “The people of Nagorno-Karabakh have a right to self-determination and must be able to exercise that right,” he told lawmakers.

Aliyev claimed, for his part, on Tuesday that “Yerevan is not showing a serious desire to conduct substantive negotiations and is trying to impede a Karabakh settlement by all means.”

“It is essential that the international community exert serious pressure on Yerevan to achieve progress in the negotiating process and the withdrawal of Armenia’s armed forces from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories,” Aliyev told Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, who is also the current chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Aliyev and Pashinian traded the accusations just days after the U.S., Russian and French mediators co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group announced that they have agreed to meet soon for further talks. The mediators gave no date for the summit.

Pashinian’s most recent meeting with Aliyev took place on January 22 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It followed fresh negotiations held by the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in Paris. According to the Minsk Group co-chairs, the ministers acknowledged the need for “taking concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace.”

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