13 February, 2019 03:01

Karabakh Should Join Negotiations Process, Pashinyan Says

By Ani Paitjan

During a session of Armenia’s National Assembly (parliament) on February 12, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that one of the most important issues for Armenia in the negotiations process is the full involvement of Nagorno Karabakh.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, the international body tasked with facilitating negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan includes Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and Turkey, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan. Karabakh as an entity does not have membership in the Group.

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Azerbaijani leaders say that if Karabakh is involved, then the Azerbaijani side, in turn, will include representatives of the Azerbaijani community of Karabakh who were forced to leave during the conflict.

In Pashinyan’s view, as citizens of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani community of Karabakh is represented in the negotiations.

"The Azeris from Karabakh participate in the presidential and parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, the Azeri President represents them... We do not have a mandate to represent Karabakh and the people for the simple reason that they do not participate in our [Armenia’s] elections and do not give us the mandate to represent them,”  Pashinyan said.

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