Yerevan/Mediamax/. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh Masis Mayilian has held the annual press conference to brief on the ministry’s activities in the year 2017.
Mediamax has selected the most noteworthy parts of the conference.
The activity carried out in 2017
In September 2017, the Senate of the U.S. State of Michigan passed a resolution on the recognition of the independence of Artsakh. Declarations of Friendship were signed between the cities of Chartar and Berdzor of Artsakh and Décines-Charpieu and Alfortville of France. In the same year, the Group of Friendship and Circle of Friendship with Artsakh were established within the framework of the visit of Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan to Belgium.
In 2017, delegations from Bolivia and Mexico, as well as a member of the Portuguese Parliament visited Artsakh for the first time.
Priorities for 2018
The foreign policy priorities are to intensify the efforts towards the international recognition of Artsakh, to ensure progress in the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Karabakh, based on the fact of realization of the right to self-determination by the people of Artsakh, to establish and expand foreign economic ties, to create external favorable conditions for the development of Artsakh, and to encourage foreign investments.
One of the most important directions of the foreign policy agenda of Artsakh is the further expansion and strengthening of the Armenia-Artsakh- Diaspora cooperation.
The Azerbaijan-Artsakh conflict
To achieve real progress in the settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Karabakh, it is necessary to restore the full-format negotiations, with the participation of the Republic Artsakh in all the stages.
The full-fledged participation of Artsakh in the negotiations will increase the effectiveness of the peace process. The authorities of Artsakh continue to advocate for their equal participation in the process and are ready to assume their share of responsibility for the maintenance of regional stability and for the destiny of the region as a whole.
Renewal of trilateral negotiations
Full-fledged negotiations provide for the involvement of three parties - Artsakh, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, which signed the cease-fire agreement in May 1994. It is this format that is enshrined in the final document of the CSCE/OSCE Budapest Summit. Accordingly, Artsakh authorities believe that efforts should be exerted to resume the trilateral Artsakh-Azerbaijan-Armenia negotiations, and not to create a new negotiation structure.
It should also be noted that the lack of full-format negotiations is a derivative of Azerbaijani leadership’s lack of political will to achieve a final settlement of the conflict.
At the peak of the development of the Great Political Agreement, Azerbaijan insisted on the elaboration of settlement principles as a basis for continuing the negotiations. Now Azerbaijan proposes abandoning the discussion of the principles of the conflict settlement, which it initiated, and starting some kind of structured negotiations.
The initiative to strengthen ceasefire regime
Merely the expansion of the staff of the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE
Chairperson-in- Office and its increased monitoring capabilities are not sufficient to ensure stability and predictability on the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Artsakh and Azerbaijan.
It is also necessary to implement other initiatives on strengthening the ceasefire, in particular, the proposal on mechanism of investigation incidents agreed upon in 2011. In this context, the practical application of the agreement of February 6, 1995, reached by Azerbaijan, Artsakh and Armenia under the aegis of the OSCE, is also of great importance.
Expectations for 2018
According to Minister Mayilyan, Artsakh’s expectations for 2018 are mainly related to the expansion of the staff and monitoring capabilities of the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. He believes that the next step should be a more substantive, result-oriented discussion of the mechanism for investigating violations of the ceasefire regime.
“We are convinced that stability and security on the Line of Contact will have a multiplicative effect on the entire settlement process. In particular, they will allow avoiding human casualties, thus eliminating the main source of maintaining tension in the relations between the societies of the conflicting parties. This, in turn, will create a favorable environment for implementing measures to restore confidence between the parties,” said Minister Mayilyan.