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MOSCOW, October 24 (Itar-Tass) —— Armenia is committed to a speedy resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of international law and join statements of the Minsk Group co-chairmen, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said.
“We firmly believe that a new war cannot resolve the conflict,” Sargsyan said at a meeting with Moscow State University students and faculty members on Monday, October 24.
In his opinion, “confrontation will only lead to destabilisation, provoke tensions and arms race, and further aggravate interstate contradictions, foment ethnic and religious strife, and threatens the security of other countries.”
“Over the last several years the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group have been taking active steps in order to assist the parties in finding peaceful solutions to the conflict,” the president said.
“We are thankful to the co-chairing countries, the leaders of Russia, France and the United States for their mediating efforts,” he said.
Sargsyan said earlier that his country would do everything it can to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue peacefully.
“We will do everything we can to solve the Karabakh problem peacefully,” the president said.
“The [settlement] process is underway, and we are acting constructively in this process,” Sargsyan said.
He said that allegations about international pressure on Armenia were “an exaggeration”.
“The co-chairing countries [in the OSCE Minsk Group] are seeking to harmonise the positions of all conflicting parties - Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan,” the president said. “This process has proved difficult, but that's how it should be - we have never expected an easy solution.”
“We will do our best to find a fair solution,” Sargsyan said. “The stronger we are, the more combat capable our army is, the better our positions at the talks will be,” he said.
However Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev said that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could be resolved only if the territorial integrity of his country was ensured.
“The conflict can be resolved only with in the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. There is no other solution, and I have no doubts that Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity,” the head of state said.
He stressed that Azerbaijan was seeking to solve the issue “peacefully”.
“We hope for a peaceful resolution yet. To this end, the Armenian side should unconditionally comply with the resolutions of international organisations, including the U.N. Security Council, free the occupied territories, and Azerbaijani citizens should return to their homes. After that peace and stability will come to the region,” Aliyev said.
He said the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was the “biggest source of threat” in the region.
Azerbaijan and its people “will never allow a second Armenian state to be created on their historical land”, he said.
“Nagorno-Karabakh will never get independence. The people who live in Nagorno-Karabakh now, and the Azeris will certainly return there should live in autonomy. This is a well known international approach,” the president said.
He made it clear that Azerbaijan would “never step aside from its position of principle”.
Aliyev urged Armenia to continue peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh.