The Azerbaijani side has been threatening with the use of force and now they are using force seeking military solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and expecting unilateral concessions from Nagorno Karabakh or from Armenia that is out of question, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said in an interview to Sky News Arabia.
Sky News Arabia: I want to ask first about what are the preconditions that will lead Armenia to enter the negotiations?
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan: Armenia doesn’t have any preconditions. Armenia has firm commitment that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Azerbaijani side has been threatening the use of force and now they are using force seeking military solution to this conflict and expecting unilateral concessions from Nagorno-Karabakh or from Armenia that is out of question. We are firmly committed to the peaceful settlement. However, we are in full strength in our spirit, in our capacity to defend our land, to defend our people, to defend the security of Nagorno-Karabakh and of Armenia. The Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh are very determined to defend themselves. And Armenia has been and remains the sole security guarantor for Nagorno-Karabakh. We will defend. There is no alternative to peace. Azerbaijan should stop its military aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh; come to its senses and peacefully negotiate the resolution of this conflict.
Sky News Arabia: How do you see the intervention of Turkey in this conflict and sending some people to solve such conflicts?
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan: Turkey is the destabilizing force in this entire situation. They have been fueling tension with all their aggressive policies in the South Caucasus. They have been unilaterally supporting Azerbaijan; transferring armaments; transferring terrorist fighters recruited from parts of Syria they control and from Libya. We have absolutely credible information and facts about this happening. They have been transferred to Azerbaijan. They are fighting our people today. Their equipment, their aviation are in the air. They are on the ground. They are used against our people. Turkey is the destabilizing party to this conflict. They have been doing this in the Eastern Mediterranean, they have been doing this in the Middle East, in North Africa. Now they have projected this to the South Caucasus as well. This is totally rejected. They are not welcomed here.
Sky News Arabia: Did you take any procedures of measures the information to this intervention for example by the international arena, especially in the United Nations, for example?
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan: We are working for the peaceful resolution within the internationally agreed format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, which comprises France, Russia, and the United States. We are working very closely, with our partners, to calm the situation, to de-escalate, and to come back to the negotiations. France, Russia, and the US are working very actively, and I think there is a good mobilization on the part of the International community, on the part of the United Nations, on the part of the European Union, on the part of the Russian Federation, which denies Turkey, the role of a destabilizer in this region. We will continue to engage firmly with all our partners to de-escalate and to exclude the external actors from this region and to stop them from these destabilizing actions they have been taking.
Sky News Arabia: Armenia refused to have any peace talks with Azerbaijan, with Russian mediation. What is the closest mediation to you, or the best mediation for you in any negotiations coming to you in this time?
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan: Well, I don’t think you are well informed about this, because, you know, Armenia has not been rejecting the negotiating process. I run to repeat: the negotiating process is happening within the internationally mandated format, which comprises three countries: Russia, France, and the United States. And we are working within this internationally agreed format. We are committed to this and we will continue to do that. There is no talk of Armenia rejecting any negotiations. It’s exactly the opposite. It is the Azerbaijani position of maximalism and the use of force that we are now witnessing, which assumes that there is a military option to the resolution of this conflict. With our resolve to defend, we deny, we reject this military option. There is only peaceful settlement to this conflict.