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Russia-France-US efforts on Karabakh is good example of cooperation - President Sargsyan

Armenia "is concerned about the failure of statehood in many countries"
Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan Aleksey Druzhinin/TASS
Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan
© Aleksey Druzhinin/TASS

MUNICH, February 18. /TASS/. The joint efforts of Russia, France and the U.S. in the Karabakh settlement are an example of cooperation for the peace and security, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said on Saturday in a speech at the Munich Security Conference.

"The efforts aimed at settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict may be an example of how Russia, the EU and the U.S. can combine positively their positions for the sake of the international peace and security," the Armenian president said. "Armenia wishes units of the kind are more often."

"This is especially important since today, conflicts are growing in different parts of the world," he continued. "We are concerned about the rapid changes in the Middle East and in other regions, which, unfortunately, continue along the wars there."

Armenia "is concerned about the failure of statehood in many countries," he said. "Thus, we should be thinking about cooperation, about the overwhelming and integrated security."

"This is the only and realistic route towards overcoming the existing crises," the president said.

The Karabakh conflict should be settled immediately

According to the Armenian president, "the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be settled by peaceful means, and as soon as possible." He continued by saying, in that issue, Armenia is supported by the Minsk Group co-chairs - Russia, France and the U.S. Under their chairing, "the negotiation process is based on three principles of the international law - non-use of force or threat of force, equal rights of peoples and the right to self-determination, territorial integrity."

"The EU, in its turn, has confirmed many times it supports the efforts and suggestions from the co-chairs," he added.

Armenia is for open cooperation

"Armenia has always been for open cooperation, respect for others’ interests and their possible combination," President Sargsyan said. "We have tried not to have our partners face choices, and, whenever possible, offered environment for positive cooperation."

Armenia’s all partners "in fact, support our policies and the undertaken moves," he said.

Criticizing Azerbaijan

Sargsyan named Azerbaijan’s position on the Nagorno Karabakh problem "a fragrant violation of the Helsinki spirit." While commenting on recent statements from Azerbaijan, the Armenian president said "[Azerbaijan’s] President Aliyev says about territorial claims for Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, referring to it as Azerbaijan’s historical territory."

"It is insane, of course, but under the conditions, where Europe keeps silent, this absurd may have very serious consequences," Sargsyan said.

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict

The highland region of Nagorno Karabakh (Mountainous Karabakh) is a mostly Armenian-populated enclave inside the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. It was the first zone of inter-ethnic tensions and violence to appear on the map of the former USSR.

Even almost a quarter of a century after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Karabakh remains a so-called 'frozen conflict' on the post-Soviet space, as the region is the subject of a dispute between Azerbaijan and the local Armenian population that draws on strong support from fellow-countrymen in neighboring Armenia.

In 1988, hostilities broke out there between the forces reporting to the government in Baku and Armenian residents, which resulted in the region's de facto independence. In 1994, a ceasefire was reached but the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia remain strained ever since then.

Russia, France and the U.S. co-chair the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which attempts to broker an end to hostilities and the conflict.