Artsakh proposes signing Peace Treaty: Vitaly Balasanyan

15/03/2019 15:08

Artsakh proposes signing Peace Treaty: Vitaly Balasanyan


After the joint session of the Security Councils of Armenia and Artsakh on March 12, Aysor.am conducted an interview with the Artsakh Security Council secretary, Artsakh hero Vitaly Balasanyan.

- Mr Balasanyan, Azerbaijan is holding military drills, the Armenian officials stated that it is a violation of some international arrangements. Do you have any concerns over them?

- In general, concerns exist in all times, starting from May 1994. We see periodically how the ceasefire regime is being violated. Of course, there are concerns but they do not relate to the drills and to offensive actions that may follow them in short period of time. Everything takes place in accordance with the schedule: the Azerbaijani armed forces are holding drills, trainings. The same do our Defense Army and the Armed Forces of Armenia.

- You mean, that the drills will not turn into military actions.

- We must be ready each moment as they may start wide-scale offensive battle under the name of military drills.

- Mr Balasanyan, what impression have you received from the joint session of the Security Councils of the two countries? What was the final result of it?

- First, I would like to say that periodically Security Council sessions were taking place in Armenia where representative of Artsakh authorities on the level of the president was invited. But this time in Artsakh Republic joint session of Armenian and Artsakh Security Councils took place and it had no relation to either military drills in Azerbaijan or the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. Armenia’s prime minster spoke about it with the president of Artsakh last year and they both approved the proposal.

The participants of the session discussed different issues. We have dedicated one working day to the session. We discussed relations between Armenia and Artsakh, cooperation in the sidelines of inter-state agreement. We were satisfied with the gathering. The two parties addressed different questions to each other and received answers.

Assignments were given over the issues solution of which demands longer time, different task groups will be set in shortest period of time for boosting cooperation in agricultural, armed forces, legal sectors. In short period of time we will try to sum up, analyze and make proposals to Armenia’s and Artsakh’s Security Councils after which corresponding solutions will be given. I am convinced that these issues will get very serious solutions in very short period of time.

- At the session the prime minister again stated about change of format of negotiations. In your opinion, won’t it take the negotiation process to the deadlock?

- Definitely, it will not. Previously the negotiations, agreement on ceasefire regime, Budapest resolution were signed among the three parties. Artsakh was a full member of the negotiations.

The reasons why Artsakh remained out of talks are different. When Robert Kocharyan was elected president of Armenia, as a knowledgeable person and former president of Artsakh, the leadership of Artsakh Republic authorized him to represent their country at the negotiations. It was not the matter of changing the negotiation format. We have not violated any format, we will continue negotiations over the document on the table of negotiations – return of territories, refugees, status-quo, independence – these all will be discussed. I have no concerns over adoption of anti-Armenian document. Recently it has always been spoken about preparing peoples for peace. But during the ceasefire regime in 1994 there was a big mutual trust between the two peoples despite the bloodshed, but the Azerbaijani authorities launched intelligence-subversive actions, then started shooting, as a result of which from time to time human and material losses were registered. The top was April 2016 which has changed the format and the realities.

I am convinced that Artsakh’s participation in the negotiations is a must. It is not a violation of the format. Artsakh has also a proposal – signing “Peace Treaty” – which is an international practice after wars. This package must include everything – exchange of captives, disputable issue of territories, material losses. We are not against the existing package, but we make another proposal – to have Peace Treaty for the people to be ready for peace.

- Do you mean, Peace Treaty among the three countries?

- Of course, this agreement must be signed under the auspices of the Minsk Group co-chairmanship. We claim that the peace treaty is a necessity. Recently information has been circulated that the Armenian Prime Minister has agreed to the thesis on ‘territories for peace’, while I would not say that the Armenian leadership, on behalf of the prime minister and people as well, are ready for it.

The international community periodically repeats the three principles – non-usage of force, self-determination, territorial integrity. For me, as Artsakh citizen, secretary of the Security Council and as a commander of troops which had serious contribution, the territorial integrity issue is very disputable. Azerbaijani territory is very doubtful territory. This country must first prove to the international community what territory it is speaking about. This is a very disputable issue, and I am convinced that when Artsakh already comes forth as a full negotiating side, we will necessarily raise this issue.

- Mr Balasanyan, it would have been a naivety to think that Azerbaijan will easily agree to such condition. How do you imagine the way out?

- You know, the Azerbaijani people were not our enemies. I do not view the Azerbaijani people as enemies as tens and more ethnic minorities are living there. After 18-20s the authorities of Baku, who declared them international, were annihilating Lezgins, Talysh people. If not the 1988 movement, Vitaly Balasanyan would have Azerbaijani nationality. I am convinced in it. Our enemies are Azerbaijani authorities. Currently at the negotiations the Azerbaijani authorities promise wide autonomy. Give this autonomy to Talysh people, Lezgins, for us to see it in practice and tell ok. The steps undertaken by the Azerbaijani authorities inside their country today show completely other reality.

- Can we conclude that Artsakh authorities gave mandate to Pashinyan for him to present Artsakh’s viewpoint at the upcoming meeting with Aliyev?

- Definitely. On behalf of the leaders of Armenia and Artsakh we have authorized the Artsakh side to participate in the negotiations as a full negotiating side. We heard the prime minister to state that the people living in Artsakh have not voted for him, thus he has no right to speak on their behalf. It is a right position.

- Who do you see as Artsakh representative at negotiations? Will it be Artsakh’s president?

- Of course. Or president of Artsakh Republic may make a decision to appoint an envoy who will be viewed as representative of Artsakh Republic.

- Won’t it matter who he will be?

- No, it will not matter.

 


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