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Armenian president points out need to solve Karabakh conflict by talks

August 11, 2014, 19:25 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The latest outbreak of fighting has been the worst in many years

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Military parade in Nagorno Karabakh

Military parade in Nagorno Karabakh

© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

YEREVAN, August 11, 18:34 /ITAR-TASS/. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said on Monday the Nagorno Karabakh problem should be solved by peaceful means.

“We believe that there can be no military solution to the Karabakh conflict. If that’s the case, the problem should be solved in negotiations,” Sargsyan told ArmNews TV Company.

“This is why we always agree to meet without formalities, especially at a high level. And this meeting was not an exception. We gave our consent to the Russian president’s proposal to meet in Sochi,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts on Sunday, August 10. The tripartite meeting, held in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, was the first face-to-face rendezvous between Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia since the recent outbreak of violence in the region.

“This meeting was important for the Russian president to understand whether the parties are willing to solve the problem and find out their expectations. I believe that the President of Russia achieved his goal,” Sargsyan said.

“No separate agreement [on de-escalation in the region] has been reached. It’s pointless to talk about new documents because previously, in 1994 and 1995, the parties signed two agreements [on ceasefire] and they must comply with them,” he said.

But if new circumstances develop, they may lead the way to an agreement on the non-use of force which would have a much higher status than ceasefire agreements, Sargsyan said.

“An international incident prevention and response mechanism will be a more effective option. If we can create such a mechanism, this will provide a very serious motive. It is necessary to work in this direction,” he said.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began on February 22, 1988. On November 29, 1989 direct rule in Nagorno-Karabakh was ended and Azerbaijan regained control of the region. However, later a joint session of the Armenian parliament and the top legislative body of Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed the unification of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Both parties report frequent shootings and attempted incursions along the ceasefire line, but the latest outbreak of fighting has been the worst in many years. The fighting erupted a week ago and has already claimed dozens of lives on both sides.

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