July 26, Artsakh Parliament President Artur Tovmasyan Gave an Interview to the "First News" Website
26 July 2021

-Mr. Tovmasyan, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Ali once again referred to the issue of the status of Karabakh, saying that the conflict is over and there is no such issue. What is your opinion on this statement?


-Yes, the President of Azerbaijan has once again said that there is no Karabakh and that the conflict is resolved. He says that he and the Russian president discussed the post-war situation in the region, including the issue of the Zangezur corridor. He noted that he and Russian President Putin have no disagreements over approaches. The Azerbaijani army, meanwhile, continues not only to threaten Artsakh, but also to strengthen its position on the Armenian border. Of course, Ali's statements do not determine the status of Artsakh. This issue must be decided within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. I said that the OSCE Minsk Group should take bolder steps, that is, resume the negotiations that existed before the bloody 44-day war in the autumn of 2020. The President of Azerbaijan does not return to the negotiation process because he is convinced that if it starts, Azerbaijan will have few trump cards. Aliyev is doing his best to bring the process to a deadlock and not to resume talks. All this should be taken into account by the OSCE Minsk Group: they should not be indifferent to the mandate entrusted to him by the conflicting and warring parties. There was a local Armenian-Azerbaijani war in Tavush, but the three others: the 1992-1994, the April 2016 and the 2020 wars took place in Artsakh. In the first Artsakh war Azerbaijan had purely moral support from Turkey, in the April 2016 war Turkish officers were also killed in the direction of Akna (Aghdam). And already during the war in 2020, the President of Turkey announced that the OSCE Minsk Group had not been able to resolve the issue peacefully for about 30 years; in his words, the issue should have been resolved by military means. The third Artsakh war was not with Azerbaijan, but with Turkey and mercenary terrorists. Israel also took an indirect part in the war. We are talking about drones.


-The impression is that the issue of the status of Artsakh is not a priority for Russia either, it is left to an uncertain future. What role will Moscow play in this issue?


- I am convinced that the Russian Federation respects the format of the OSCE Minsk Group. In other words, Artsakh must have a clear status, and it must be decided in the negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. I find that both the status and the return of forcibly displaced persons and the occupied territories should be discussed, including the cultural genocide against Artsakh.


- When will that issue become a subject of discussion?


- We do not invent a new bicycle. It has been a subject of discussion since 1994. And Azerbaijan has never raised the issue of cultural genocide because we have renovated at least one of the mosques under our control with state funds We consider it a Persian mosque.


-What is their nature of the current provocations of Azerbaijan? Are large-scale operations possible?


- There is nothing to worry about in Artsakh yet. And the question of what is happening in the border regions of Armenia, should be asked to the Armenian authorities.


- Mr. Tovmasyan, referring to the visit of the ambassadors of a number of countries to Shushi and also the fact that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries were not on this list. Was this a message of Baku?


- To say, that the visit of all the ambassadors not only Shushi, but also other territories occupied territories by Azerbaijan, had left a bad impression on the people of Artsakh, is to say nothing. Our people believe that with such step they justified the aggression of Turkey, Azerbaijan and terrorists. We are against it and condemn any such visit. Of course, we also appreciate the non-participation of the ambassadors of Russia, France and the United States in this so-called event. The position of these three countries is very morally and politically correct. The visit of the Greek ambassador is especially incomprehensible. You know, that the President of Turkey stated in Northern Cyprus, that Azerbaijan will soon recognize the independence of Northern Cyprus.  should mention that all the factions of the Artsakh National Assembly condemned the ambassadors' visit to the occupied territories.