By Ani Paitjan
During a press conference on March 19, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan again said that Nagorno-Karabakh should be its own, independent party in the negotiations process to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in turn rejected the proposal.
Aliyev referred to Armenia’s proposal as “unacceptable”.
“Armenia’s government is trying to change the format of negotiations. It is unacceptable and is viewed as an attempt to block the negotiation process,” Aliyev has said.
This is not the first time that Pashinyan has insisted on the Karabakh’s participation in the peace process. On February 12, during a session of Armenia’s National Assembly (parliament), the prime minister said that one of the most important issues for Armenia in the negotiations process is the full involvement of Karabakh.
Pashinyan argues that the Azerbaijani community of Karabakh is represented in the negotiations as citizens of Azerbaijan, but the Armenian community of Karabakh doesn’t have the same representation in Armenia.
“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.