ROBERT KOCHARIAN: IF AZERBAIJAN CONTINUES ITS LINE OF ACTION, ARMENIA WILL RECOGNIZE INDEPENDENCE OF KARABAKH
March 21, 2008
YEREVAN, MARCH 21, NOYAN TAPAN. "Azerbaijan made an attempt to test
our toughness. I do doubt that if they are convinced that Armenia and
Karabakh have weakened, they will again make an attempt to achieve
success," the RA president Robert Kocharian stated at the Macrh
20 press conference. He subscribed to the opinion that the March 4
skirmish between Karabakh anf Azerbaijan, the UN’s adoption of the
resolution submitted by Azerbaijan, the demarche against the OSCE
Minsk Group can be viewed as an attempt by Azeraijan to create an
entirely new situation by nullifying the passed negotiation way.
In the opinion of R. Kocharian, there is no better format for
negotiations on the Karabakh conflict settlement than the OSCE Minsk
Group. "However, it does not mean that if Azerbaijan does not accept
this format, we will cling to it. However, we must also consider that
if they do not negotiate, then how they see the future and who will
bear responsibility for possible steps," the Armenian president said.
He stated that if Azerbaijan continues this line of action, then
"our step will be the recognition of Karabakh’s independence and the
signing of the respective agreements with it: the agreements on mutual
assistance, on organization of the joint defence, and so on."
By displaing activity in the issue of adoption of the above mentioned
resolution by the UN, Azerbaijan "attempted to use a resolution as an
counterbalance to the precedent of Kosovo’s independence which means
that it is not related to Karabakh," the Armenian president said,
adding that Azerbaijan saw a danger in Kosovo’s independence because
the two conflicts are quite similar to each other. Nevertheless,
in the words of R. Kocharian, "their calculation was not justified
and much more states did not support them."
R. Kocharian said that Karabakh has greater and more substantiated
reasons for being independent than Kosovo. The independence of Karaakh
was declared in September 1992, the referendum on independence was
held in December.
Karabak has its state structures, and it has defended its independence
and territorial integrity by own strength.