''If the international community does nothing, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will be the victims of genocide'': Pashinyan
Friday, 16 October, 2020, 09:47
Interviewed in the framework of the program Forum sur la Première, Nikol Pachinian explained the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and affirmed that it is not Armenia which refuses to make compromises to end this crisis which pits Armenian separatists against the Azerbaijani army. The Armenian Prime Minister has insisted a lot on the role of Turkey which, according to him, has sent Syrian mercenaries to the front, which Ankara and Baku deny. Nikol Pachinian lamented that diplomats did not visit the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its capital. He called for a reaction from the international community, otherwise the inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh would risk "suffering genocide", according to him. -The ceasefire did not hold. In both camps, civilians were killed. What compromises is Armenia ready to make to stop the fighting? -It is not that the ceasefire did not hold, it is that it was not even acted. Because at the very moment when it was to come into force, Azerbaijan launched new attacks. When it comes to compromises, Armenia has always been ready to make them. But concessions must be made on both sides. Azerbaijan has never been ready to compromise. This is the reason why this situation is evolving like this.Today Azerbaijan is even less willing to do so. Particularly because Turkey manages the process. For Turkey, it's not just the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. What is happening is the consequence of an expansionist and imperialist Turkish policy. The Armenians of the South Caucasus are the last obstacle on its way east and south-east. In my opinion, it is very important to note that the situation is outside the framework of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. It has entered into a much broader logic. It must be placed in the policy pursued by Turkey in the southern Mediterranean, in Libya, in Syria, and also in the context of its relations with Greece and Cyprus. -Would you be ready to surrender these 7 other cantons, to obtain a political settlement on Nagorno-Karabakh? -You know, I am the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and not the Prime Minister of Nagorno-Karabakh, and it is essential to take into consideration the decisions of the elected leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh. Regarding the territorial question, I would like to underline the fact that the Armenian camp was ready to compromise and to sign the agreements proposed in 2011 within the framework of the Kazan negotiations. For me, it is very important that the international community clearly sees the Azerbaijani attack on Armenia.The problem is that now Azerbaijan has set itself the goal, with the help of Turkey and Syrian mercenaries, to take control of all the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and rid it of the control of the Armenians. . And the Armenian camp, I repeat, was ready to make an agreement in 2011. But it was Azerbaijan that refused it, because it moved towards a military solution. The problem is that now Azerbaijan has set itself the goal, with the help of Turkey and Syrian mercenaries, to take control of all the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and rid it of the control of the Armenians. . And the Armenian camp, I repeat, was ready to make an agreement in 2011. But it was Azerbaijan that refused it, because it moved towards a military solution. -What do you expect from Switzerland? And are you disappointed with some western countries? -You know, the problem is that today Nagorno Karabakh is on the threshold of a humanitarian crisis. Lately, when a deterrent strike was carried out by the Nagorno-Karabakh Army on the city of Ganja in Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijanis organized a visit of foreign representatives to this region to show what is happening there. But, until today, no official representative has visited Nagorno-Karabakh, has visited its capital Stepanakert to see the consequences of the bombings. Nineteen days that it lasts, with damage to civilian infrastructure, buildings destroyed. Only a few foreign journalists came, but no foreign diplomatic representatives. If the international community does nothing, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will be the victims of genocide, and I weigh my words carefully. -You are linked to Russia by a collective security treaty. Azerbaijan said on Wednesday it had struck Armenian territory for the first time. What should Russia's role be? Would you like more support from Moscow? -We are in permanent consultation with our Russian partners, including within the framework of this collective security treaty. There have already been clear statements that if the situation deteriorates, Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization will keep their commitments to Armenia.But I believe that Russia has a bigger role to play, including restoring stability and peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, as the co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group. I would like to stress that since Russia is the closest co-chair to our region, the other two co-chairs France and the United States should support Russia in its efforts to stabilize the region.