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Armenia Insists On Karabakh’s ‘Right To Self-Determination’


NAGORNO-KARABAKH -- A couple walks in front of a destroyed house after a late October 7th sheling in StepanakertArmenia Insists On Karabakh’s ‘Right To Self-Determination’, October 8, 2020

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian urged the international community on Sunday to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh’s “right to self-determination” after two weeks of heaving fighting in and around the Armenian-populated territory.

Pashinian praised the worldwide Armenian Diaspora for showing strong support for Armenia and Karabakh during the hostilities.

“This movement must also be made attractive to representatives of other nations who are against violence, corruption, terrorism, and stand for the victory of justice, freedom and love,” he wrote on Facebook. “Artsakh (Karabakh) must become a symbol of international justice.

“The world must recognize Artsakh’s right to self-determination. If governments and parliaments do not do that, peoples, individuals, and organizations can do it.”

The appeal came one day after the supposed entry into force of a Russian-mediated ceasefire agreement reached by the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers during lengthy talks held in Moscow.

The conflicting parties accused each other of violating the ceasefire by shelling civilian areas on either side of the Karabakh “line of contact” throughout Saturday and the following night. But they reported no major shelling or skirmishes on Sunday morning and afternoon.

Ara Harutiunian, the Karabakh president, warned that he will appeal to Armenia and other nations to formally recognize Karabakh’s independence if Azerbaijan does not observe the truce in the coming days. Speaking at a news conference in Stepanakert, he also said that “Artsakh will not be a part of Azerbaijan.”

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said on Saturday that the “humanitarian ceasefire” agreed in Moscow will only last for as long as it takes for the Red Cross to arrange the exchange of the dead.

AZERBAIJAN -- Residents search for their belongings at a restaurant hit by a shelling during the military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, in the town of Barda, October 8, 2020
AZERBAIJAN -- Residents search for their belongings at a restaurant hit by a shelling during the military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, in the town of Barda, October 8, 2020

A joint statement issued by Bayramov and his Armenian and Russian counterparts said that “concrete parameters of the ceasefire regime will be agreed upon additionally.”

The statement also said Baku and Yerevan are “embarking on substantive negotiations with the aim of rapidly achieving a peaceful settlement.” The talks will focus on the “basic principles of settlement,” added the statement.

The three ministers apparently referred to a framework peace accord that was first drafted by the Russian, French and U.S. co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in 2007 and has been repeatedly modified since then. The conflicting parties have for years disagreed on some key elements of the proposed deal, which seeks to combine the principle of people’s self-determination with that of territorial integrity of states.

In an interview with the Russian RBC TV channel aired on Saturday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said the statement’s reference to the basic principles “presupposes” Armenian withdrawal from seven districts around the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. In contrast to his earlier statements, Aliyev did not insist on a “timetable” for such withdrawal.

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