Karabakh leader backs package option for conflict settlement

Karabakh leader backs package option for conflict settlement

28 Jan 05


No issue can be resolved without the people and authorities of
Nagornyy Karabakh, the president of the Nagornyy Karabakh Republic,
Arkadiy Gukasyan, has told journalists in Yerevan.

Asked about different options for the settlement of the Karabakh
conflict, the president recalled that the NKR authorities have
repeatedly made statements that the stage-by-stage approach is
illogical since “it is not clear what awaits us in the future”. “We
have always supported the package option, although we do not rule out
that some issues can be resolved stage by stage – but only some
issues,” the president pointed out.

As for the initiative on “the stage-by-stage package”, Gukasyan
stressed that this is a very abstract idea and “it is at the
negotiating table that we must find out what it means”. “We should not
rule anything out beforehand, but we must understand that if there are
decisions that contradict our interests, they will be unacceptable to
us,” the president pointed out.

Asked whether it is possible that this initiative implies first of all
the clarification of Nagornyy Karabakh’s status, the president pointed
out that this would be the most logical approach.

Gukasyan stressed that it is necessary to start from the causes, not
the consequences of the conflict, since the conflict occurred when
there were neither refugees, nor “occupied territories”, he
recalled. “Having solved the issue of the status, we will have
simplified the settlement of the remaining issues”, the president
pointed out.

The president also pointed out that Azerbaijan’s position has lately
become tougher and more illogical. The reason is that the new
Azerbaijani leader probably thinks that one can get everything with
smaller concessions or without any concessions at all, the president
pointed out. This is Azerbaijan’s approach – to get everything without
ceding anything, Gukasyan pointed out.

As for the reports of the Azerbaijani side about shootouts, the
president said that unfortunately, the shootouts are frequent
enough. “As a rule, it is the Azerbaijani side that violates the
cease-fire agreement. But the talk is about local shootouts. There are
no active hostilities, no heavy artillery is being used and nothing
serious is happening on the border,” Gukasyan stressed.