Karabakh Important Factor In Caucasus – Minister


Ayastani Anrapetutyun, Yerevan
8 May 04

Text of Galust Nanyan’s report by Armenian newspaper Ayastani
Anrapetutyun on 8 May headlined “The NKR is an important factor in
the region”

This is an interview with the foreign minister of the Nagornyy Karabakh
Republic (NKR), Ashot Gulyan. The Bishkek agreement on the armistice
signed on 12 May 1994 will mark its 10th anniversary soon. It does
not contain any term, it only says that the armistice should last
until the signing of a peace agreement.

According to NKR Foreign Minister Ashot Gulyan, when the armistice
agreement was signed, the NKR was given the opportunity to start
peaceful life. “It is natural that the Karabakh party’s participation
in the signing of the armistice agreement, as well as in other
discussions, was one the most painful problems for Azerbaijan,”
Gulyan said.

Irrespective of everything, the most important thing is that they
reached such an agreement and it is still in force. According to
Gulyan, if the NKR as a party is responsible for maintaining the
armistice, so the NKR should logically be a full participant in the
Karabakh conflict settlement.

When several months ago the former foreign minister of Azerbaijan,
Vilayat Quliyev, said that Azerbaijan is ready to negotiate directly
with the NKR if Armenia walks out of this process, Ashot Gulyan says
that it was not serious readiness. This was simply a regular political
step on the part of Azerbaijan and aimed to find out what response
it will get.

“The NKR president, as well as numerous members of the NKR Foreign
Ministry, have repeatedly said that the Karabakh party is ready to
negotiate with Azerbaijan in any format without any pre-conditions,”
Gulyan said.

He also said that in the 10 years they managed to make quite serious
progress in the issue of creating and establishing an independent

Gulyan said that thanks to these efforts, the NKR has really become
an important factor in the region. If earlier the NKR was seen in the
region only as a military and political factor, which had military
potential, today “I think that the level of the NKR’s economic and
public development allows us to say that Nagornyy Karabakh is really
an important factor in the region in all spheres,” Gulyan said.

As for the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border and the Nagornyy
Karabakh conflict in this context, Gulyan said that only Armenia and
Turkey can settle these relations. “I have the impression that the
Turkish government is hostage to the pre-conditions put forward by
Azerbaijan from time to time,” Gulyan said.