Azerbaijan invites Karabakh Armenians to Baku for discussions, NKR insists on Russian mediation in Khojaly

Yesterday, on Monday (13 March), the Office of the President of Azerbaijan made a public invitation to "the representatives of the Armenian public living in Karabakh to continue contacts on reintegration and discuss the issues related to the implementation of infrastructure projects in Karabakh".

This is following a meeting on 1 March between Azerbaijani MP Ramin Mammadov and Karabakh Armenian representatives, about which you can read more here

Today, on Tuesday (14 March) the de facto authorities of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) issued their formal response, which insisted on the mediation of Russian peacekeepers and in the same venue as on 1 March, namely the headquarters of the Russian peacekeeping contigent in Khojaly.

In a statement, the NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs said:

"In response to the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration’s offer on holding a meeting between the representatives of Azerbaijan and Artsakh, we inform that the Republic of Artsakh is committed to its previously expressed position that such meetings can take place under the mediation of Russian peacekeepers, in the same venue where the March 1 meeting took place, around humanitarian, infrastructure and technical issues, without unnecessary politicization."

The statement added that, "Artsakh is committed to the negotiations aimed at a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, which must take place in the internationally recognized and approved format, in conditions of international guarantees for the equal rights of the parties and implementation of obligations."

Conversation must take place between Baku and Stepanakert, says Pashinyan

Later on Tuesday, responding to a statement from the Nagorno-Karabakh parliamentary faction that demanded Yerevan "not to question Nagorno-Karabakh's right to self-determination", Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan responded by saying that "the issue of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh is extremely important to us, this is one of our key goals." 

Pashinyan added, "Our understanding is the following, it would be better for the people of Nagorno Karabakh to be the ones pursuing that issue, the primary mandate holder, the way it actually is. There are both objective and subjective reasons for this position. We believe that this conversation must take place between Baku and Stepanakert."

source: with agencies
photo: The Caspian Post