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NKR MFA STATEMENT - MFA NKR

NKR MFA STATEMENT

 

 

STATEMENT BY THE FOREIGN MINISTRY OF THE ARTSAKH REPUBLIC

 

In the early hours of February 25, 2017, the Azerbaijani armed forces attempted an attack on the positions of the Defense Army of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), which was neutralized by the military units of Artsakh. The incident was the most serious violation of the ceasefire by Azerbaijan after the April war of 2016. Like in last April, it followed the systematic and deliberate steps by the Azerbaijani side on the gradual escalation of tensions, to which the mediators responded by untargeted appeals for restraint.

The incident of February 25, 2017 is another proof of total disregard for the commitments assumed by Azerbaijan in the frameworks of the agreements of 1994 and 1995, as well as the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg. It is obvious that by increasing the degree of tensions on the Line of Contact the Azerbaijani side tries to check not only the combat capability of the Defense Army of Artsakh, but also the reaction of the international community to the use of force.

It was the absence of international community’s strong and targeted assessment of actions of Azerbaijani authorities on disrupting the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict and preparing for war that to a certain extent, created a situation, taking an advantage of which, Baku considered it possible to unleash a military aggression against Artsakh in April 2016.

The escalation of tension on the Line of Contact, provoked by the Azerbaijani side, only deepens the distrust and postpones the prospects for a final resolution of the conflict. We believe that the response to the provocative policy of Azerbaijan must be refraining from making untargeted appeals to the parties of the conflict and increased efforts on the practical implementation of the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg on strengthening the ceasefire and creating conditions for the resumption of the negotiation process.

Stepanakert

27 February 2017

                            NKR MFA Statement

 

On 20 February 2017, a national referendum on a new draft Constitution was held in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh Republic). The turnout has been 76, 44 per cent of the registered voters, of which 87, 6 per cent supported the adoption of the new Constitution. Around 100 international observers from 30 countries monitored the voting process and positively assessed the organization and conduct of the referendum noting their transparency and compliance with international standards.

The new Constitution is to continue the traditions of state building enshrined in the first constitution, further strengthen the sovereignty of the country, and promote human rights and the rule of law, to improve public administration, enroot the independent judiciary and reform the local self-government. A key innovation was the increase of direct participation of citizens in public affairs by providing them with the right to legislative initiative, as well as on proposing amendments to the Constitution.

The referendum on 20 February has become another act of expression of will by the people of Artsakh, in exercising their right to determine their own future, as enshrined in fundamental international documents.

The attempts of Baku to suppress by all means, including military, this inherent right of the people of Artsakh, lead to the outbreak of the armed conflict. It remains a major source of persistent tension in the region and the reason for the lack of progress in the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.

The democratic development of Artsakh's statehood is an irreversible process. Reluctance of Azerbaijan to recognize this fact through denial of the right to self-determination realized by the people of Artsakh is an attempt to return to the past, which is doomed to failure.

Stepanakert

21 February 2017

             NKR MFA Statement

On the night of November 10-11, and during the day the Azerbaijani armed forces shelled the frontline positions of the NKR Defense Army near the villages of Talish and Yarimja from 60 and 82 mm mortars. Such massive use of mortars occurring for the first time after a large-scale aggression against Nagorno Karabakh in April, has become the continuation of recent escalation of tension on the Line of Contact by Azerbaijan.

It is of serious concern that the aggravation of the situation takes place against the background of Azerbaijan's preparation for the large-scale military exercises near the NKR borders, employing a large number of military equipment and manpower. 

Such actions are a flagrant violation of the agreements reached at the summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg on inadmissibility of escalation of tension on the Line of Contact and indicate to the intention of Azerbaijan to impede the measures aimed at creating conditions for the resumption of the negotiation process.

Moreover, Azerbaijan not only rejects creation of mechanisms for investigation of incidents and expansion of the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE CiO, but also seeks to undermine the only international monitoring mechanism to maintain the ceasefire regime by firing an area where the OSCE mission carried out a planned monitoring on the day before.

In this situation, we call on the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the OSCE Chairperson in Office and the international community as a whole to condemn in the strongest terms destructive policy of the Azerbaijani authorities, and to take effective measures to prevent  further escalation of tension.

For its turn, the NKR will suppress any actions of Azerbaijan, threatening the security of the Republic, the peace and stability in the region.

Stepanakert 

11 November 2016

Comment by the NKR MFA Press Service

 

Statement by the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry about the alleged military use of monuments of Islamic architecture located on the territory of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic does not correspond to reality and is another allegation in a series of fraud and forgery, constantly used by the Azerbaijani side. Azerbaijan, with its rich experience of using religious monuments for military purposes, which is proved by the conversion of the Kazanchetsots church in Shushi into a military warehouse in 1992, once again is trying to ascribe its own behaviour to the Karabakh side.

There are numerous compelling evidences of systematic and deliberate destruction of Armenian cultural heritage sites by the Azerbaijani authorities on the whole territory of Azerbaijan, as well as in the occupied Shahumyan region of the NKR.

The most blatant act of vandalism is the destruction of the medieval Armenian khachkar/cross-stone cemetery near the town of Jugha (Julfa) in Nakhichevan and turning the site into a military range in 2005. Despite numerous international appeals, the Azerbaijani side, trying to avoid responsibility, does not allow international experts to visit the area, where there was a cemetery of cross-stones.

If the Azerbaijani authorities are genuinely interested in the implementation of the fact-finding mission to assess the situation with the historical and cultural monuments, and do not pursue merely political or propaganda aims, then we can expect that the work of the mission will start from visiting the occupied Shahumyan region of the NKR and Nakhichevan.

At the same time, we consider it necessary to note that all the monuments located in the territory of the NKR, irrespective of their origin, are included in the State Registry of the NKR Historical and Cultural Immobile Monuments and are under state protection.

The Nagorno Karabakh Republic has been and remains open to international cooperation in the protection and preservation of cultural and historical heritage, and expects a similar openness of Azerbaijan.

Stepanakert

30 May 2016

NKR MFA Statement

 

On May 17, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry voiced another farfetched accusation of the alleged use of prohibited ammunition, including shells with white phosphorus, during the military operations on April 2-5, 2016.

Continuing its usual campaign of disinformation of the international community, Azerbaijan does not disdain resorting to fraud and outright manipulation. To add weight to its propaganda, the Azerbaijani side tries to involve foreign diplomats and military attaches accredited in Azerbaijan.

Falsification and distortion of the reality have long become regular, constituting an integral part of Azerbaijan's foreign policy. Back in 1992, the Azerbaijani side made similar accusations of the alleged use of chemical weapons, which were then denied by the UN special fact-finding mission. Based on the findings and conclusions of the UN experts set forth in the UN Security Council document S/24344 dated July 24, 1992, the UN Secretary-General noted that "no evidence of the use of chemical weapons had been presented to the team".

In subsequent years, the Azerbaijani side has been making similar absurd and unconfirmed accusations of the use of nuclear weapons against Azerbaijan in 1993 and disposal of nuclear wastes in the NKR (PACE document N 9444 dated May 7, 2002), transformation of Armenia and the NKR to a depot of bacteriological weapons (PACE document N9336 dated January 31, 2002), cultivation and production of drugs, etc. In doing so, the Azerbaijani side referred to nonexistent scientific journals, reports, organizations, and laboratories.

Resurrecting its old allegations, Azerbaijan does not only try to justify its policy of use of force and denial of full and strict compliance with the ceasefire agreements of 1994 and 1995, on which the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair countries insist, but also aims to distract the attention from the real war crimes committed by the Azerbaijani army against the military servicemen and civilian population of the NKR.

In this regard, we call on the international community to treat the unfounded statements of the Azerbaijani side with utmost criticism. 

For its part, the NKR is ready to host a special monitoring mission for an on-site study of all the facts and investigation of the circumstances of the aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan on April 2-5, 2016, as well as the violations of the norms of international humanitarian law committed during that period.

Stepanakert

20 May 2016

NKR MFA Statement

 

22 years ago, on May 12, 1994, a termless agreement on ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, signed by the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the Azerbaijani Republic and the Republic of Armenia through the mediation of the Russian Federation, entered into force. This agreement, as well as the February 6, 1995 trilateral agreement on strengthening the ceasefire, signed under the auspices of the OSCE, still remain the only real achievement, which laid the foundation for peace talks and created conditions for the activities of the mediators on finding a just and final solution to the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.

Before April 2, 2016, the ceasefire was generally maintained, despite the incessant attempts of Azerbaijan to destabilize the situation on the Line of Contact between the armed forces of the NKR and Azerbaijan. The NKR authorities have repeatedly drawn the attention of the international community to the purposeful actions of the Azerbaijani side, as a result of which ceasefire violations were becoming more and more threatening in their nature and scale.

Official Stepanakert has been urging the international community to condemn the deliberate policy of Azerbaijan of escalating tensions and derailing the negotiation process conducted under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. We have repeatedly pointed out that without an adequate and targeted international response, the consistent and purposeful actions of Azerbaijan on fomenting a war in the region will become irreversible.

In the early hours of April 2, Azerbaijan, in gross violation of the agreements of May 12, 1994 and February 6, 1995, launched a large-scale offensive along the entire Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, using heavy weaponry, artillery and combat aircraft. Only thanks to the decisive actions of the NKR Defense Army, which gave a fitting rebuff to the insolent rival, on April 5, Azerbaijan was forced to ask, as in 1994, through the mediation of the Russian Federation for the cessation of the hostilities. It has been generally maintained, despite the recurrent violations by the Azerbaijani side.

Even after the failure of the military venture of April 2-5, Azerbaijan has not abandoned the idea to solve the conflict by force, as evidenced by the statements of the Azerbaijani officials, including at the highest level. Moreover, Azerbaijan tries to unilaterally denounce the ceasefire agreement of May 12, 1994, which is an obvious continuation of the policy on disrupting the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict and instigating a war in the region.

The Nagorno Karabakh Republic, being committed to an exclusively peaceful settlement of the conflict and making every effort to fully restore the ceasefire, is at the same time prepared to stop, in the strongest terms, any attempts of Azerbaijan to unleash another aggression.

Ensuring full compliance with May 12, 1994 agreement and the practical implementation of the February 6, 1995 agreement, which contains a set of measures on early warning and crisis stabilization is the only way of creating the necessary conditions for the resumption of the peaceful settlement process of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.

 Stepanakert

12 May 2016

 

NKR MFA Statement

 

On April 30, 1991, 25 years ago, the operation "Ring" began with a massive shelling of Getashen and Martunashen, which became a prelude to the subsequent full-scale military aggression of Azerbaijan against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. During the operation, the Armenian villages were at first surrounded by the interior forces of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Soviet Army. And afterwards, the Azerbaijani OMON and militia entered those villages under the pretext of “passport checks”, but in fact for murder, robbery, terror against the Armenian population, followed by deportation.

The operation "Ring" became the continuation of a series of Armenian pogroms and ethnic cleansing in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad and other settlements of Azerbaijan, as well as in the villages of Northern Artsakh in 1988-1991, which were intended to strangle at its birth  the national liberation struggle of the Armenians of Artsakh and deprive them of their homeland. The Azerbaijani authorities did not conceal that they considered the operation "Ring" as the beginning of a large-scale deportation of all Armenians from Nagorno Karabakh.

As a result of the operation, during which tanks, combat helicopters and artillery were used, more than two dozen villages of Northern Artsakh and Shahumyan, Hadrut and Shushi regions were completely devastated and destroyed. Almost 10 thousand people were deported, more than 100 killed and several hundred taken hostage. The fate of many of them still remains unknown.

25 years later, on the night of April 2, 2016, the Azerbaijani authorities unleashed yet another aggression against the NKR, which as in 1991, was accompanied by numerous violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes committed against the civilians and soldiers of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, including targeted shelling of peaceful settlements, killings of civilians, as well as the mutilation and ill-treatment of the dead bodies.

However, both in 1991, and now all the attempts of the Azerbaijani authorities to intimidate and break the people of Artsakh, to suppress their strive for freedom and, eventually, to deprive them of their homeland, resulted in a complete failure.

Azerbaijan's criminal behavior only strengthens the determination of the people of Artsakh to build and develop their independent and free state as the guarantor of its security and peaceful existence. Acknowledgment by the international community of this fact, and, as a result of it, the international recognition of the NKR will put an end to the ongoing attempts of Azerbaijan to destroy Artsakh and eliminate its people, and ensure peace and security in the region.

Stepanakert 

30 April 2016

NKR MFA Statement

 

Following the large-scale aggression on 2-5 April this year against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR), Azerbaijani authorities continue their efforts to finally derail the peace process and transfer it to a military dimension. Azerbaijani attempts at the UN and the OSCE to unilaterally denounce the trilateral cease-fire agreement of 12 May 1994 come to prove this. At the same time, Azerbaijan resorts to its traditional practice of fraud and manipulation, trying to put the blame on the Armenian sides and thereby avoid responsibility for unleashing the war.

In this regard, we consider it necessary to remind that the cease-fire agreement concluded between the NKR, Azerbaijan and Armenia for an indefinite term is the only real achievement in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement process. It is thanks to this agreement that foundations for peace talks were laid and conditions were created for the activities of the mediators to find a just and final solution to the conflict.

We share the view of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs that this agreement, as well as the agreement of February 1995, is the basis for the cease-fire and its strengthening. We also consider as extremely important the consolidation of positions of the international community and the mediator-countries in taking effective and urgent measures to force Azerbaijan to comply with the commitments taken under those agreements.

NKR MFA strongly condemns any attempts by the Azerbaijani authorities to reconsider those agreements, assessing them as an explicit intention of Azerbaijan to unleash another war, and considers it necessary to fully restore the cease-fire established in May 1994.

To guarantee the security of the NKR and its people, as well as to promote peace and stability in the region, NKR authorities will take diplomatic and other possible measures to ensure the full implementation of the agreements of 12 May 1994 and 6 February 1995, and to exclude the possibility of developments along the criminal scenario planned by the Azerbaijani authorities.

Stepanakert

26 April 2016

 

Statement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Nagorno Karabakh Republic

In the early hours of April 2, Azerbaijan initiated an unprecedented escalation of tension along the entire line of contact between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh Republic, using heavy military equipment, artillery and combat aircraft. Azerbaijani armed forces fired artillery shells not only at the advanced positions of the NKR Defense Army, but also populated areas, which resulted in casualties, including among the civilian population.

Such an escalation of tension by Azerbaijan is fraught with unpredictable consequences. In the current situation, the NKR Defense Army is taking all necessary measures to force Azerbaijan to cease hostilities. Azerbaijan, which once again has undertaken an irresponsible and senseless adventure, bears full responsibility for any possible consequences. 

We urge the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office to strongly and publicly condemn Azerbaijan for the systematic escalation of the situation, the underminingof peace and stability in the region.

Stepanakert

2 April 2016

 

 Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Nagorno Karabakh Republic

Along with aggravating the situation on the line of contact and making repeated attempts of reconnaissance and sabotage, as well as continuously shooting with large caliber mortars and artillery, Azerbaijani authorities have launched a hysterical campaign against the ongoing democratic processes in the NKR.

On August 31, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the forthcoming September 13 elections to local self-government in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. This statement, which contains the traditional set of baseless accusations against the NKR and Armenia, is actively disseminated in international organizations and structures. In its turn, the state-controlled Azerbaijani media have started a race in their attempts of attaining similar accusations from the representatives of various countries and international organizations.

Condemnation of the municipal elections in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic by Azerbaijan is a manifestation of panic phobia of Azerbaijani leadership towards the democratic processes taking place in the NKR. This is especially evident against the background of the deteriorating situation with human rights and freedom of speech in Azerbaijan, where elections are an open ended process of inheritance, human rights activists and journalists are persecuted for dissent, and the population deprived of the opportunity to fully realize their fundamental rights and freedoms. Bringing to the end any illusion of democracy in its country, the leadership of Azerbaijan does not give up on the attempts of imposing its own "standards" of human rights throughout the international community including its neighboring countries.

In this regard, we consider it necessary to note that in line with its commitment to democratic values and principles, the organization of public life and the formation of the NKR authorities are carried out solely by means of free, fair, transparent and competitive elections, which have become an integral part of the political culture of the NKR.

Forthcoming September 13 elections are the sixth elections to the local government in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. The first municipal elections, including the elections of the mayor of Stepanakert, were held on September 27, 1998.

Implementation of the local self-government in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, safeguarding the citizens’ direct participation in the conduct of public affairs is regulated by the Constitution of the NKR in full compliance with international law and, particularly, the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

Attaching special importance to the institution of local self-government as a form of direct and representative governance by the people as well as the foundations of any democratic regime, the NKR authorities will spare no efforts to enhance its further development and strengthening.

 Stepanakert

 September 9, 2015

 

 

 Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Nagorno Karabakh Republic

On May 3, 2015, the sixth regular parliamentary elections were held in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) with over 70% turnout. The elections were held in a free and competitive atmosphere and in full compliance with the international standards, as assessed by more than 100 international observers from around 30 countries.

The parliamentary elections have reaffirmed the fact that elections, as a key element for the functioning of any democratic system, have become an integral part of the political culture of Artsakh. Free, fair, transparent and competitive elections, being an inalienable mechanism of political processes in the NKR, are aimed at organizing the public life of the republic and forming the government by democratic means, which, in turn, serves as a basis for promoting human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

The elections, as an expression of will of the people of Artsakh, whose role in deciding its future was unequivocally emphasized in the statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on 30 April 2015, are also essential for maintaining the stability in the region as well as for the just and peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh.

 Stepanakert

May 5, 2015


 


Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Nagorno Karabakh Republic

Shooting down an NKR Defense Army Air Force helicopter by Azerbaijan during training flight near the line of contact is an unprecedented violation of the ceasefire fraught with serious escalation of tension in the conflict zone.

This criminal and adventurous provocation by Azerbaijan has not only become a gross violation of the obligations taken by Azerbaijani side to find a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh, but also demonstrated its total disregard towards the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries  and the international community as a whole.

The incident indicates, yet again, to the need of activating efforts to develop and take urgent measures to de-escalate the tension and, first of all, to establish an effective mechanism for investigation of ceasefire violations, which has been repeatedly proposed the Armenian sides and supported by the OSCE Minsk Group.

The soonest development and implementation of a mechanism for investigation of incidents will allow identifying the true perpetrator of the ceasefire regime violations, i.e. Azerbaijan, and avoid untargeted calls on the parties to the conflict, which create a false sense of permissiveness and impunity in Azerbaijan.

Stepanakert

November 13, 2014

 

The NKR MFA Statement on the Referendum on the Status of Scotland

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Republic of Artsakh) welcomes the holding of a referendum on the independence of Scotland.

Irrespective of the results, the referendum in Scotland is one more precedent enriching the world practice of realization of the right of peoples to self-determination and confirming once again the obvious fact that the recognition of the right of peoples to decide their own fate is a norm in a democratic society.

In this connection, we consider it necessary to remind that it was the breach of the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh by Azerbaijan that led to the mass violations of human rights and deportation of the Armenian population of Azerbaijan, followed by the full-scale aggression of Azerbaijan against the NKR, as a result of which tens of thousands of people were killed, and hundreds of thousands became refugees. 

The international recognition of the will of the people of Artsakh, realized in 1991 and affirmed in 2006, will ensure the irreversibility of the peaceful process and will allow focusing efforts on elaborating the necessary mechanisms and conditions for peaceful co-existence of two independent states – the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan that emerged as a result of the collapse of the USSR and the war imposed by Azerbaijan. 

Stepanakert

September 19, 2014

 

 

Statement of the NKR MFA on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Ceasefire Agreement

 

Today marks 20 years of the ceasefire agreement in the Azerbaijani -Karabakh conflict zone signed by the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia with the mediation of the Russian Federation. The agreement, which became the only real achievement in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement process put an end to large-scale hostilities and thus laid the foundations for peace talks as well as created conditions for the activities of mediators to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict. 
 
At the same time, we are compelled to state that, despite all the efforts and consistent work of the mediators on bridging the positions of the sides and finding a mutually acceptable solution, there is no progress in  transforming the ceasefire into a final and lasting peace. 
 
Periodically on the Line of Contact of the armed forces of the Nagorno- Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan incidents occur fraught with serious escalation of tensions and undermining the efforts of the mediators to find a peaceful settlement. Since the beginning of 2014 more than seven thousand cases of ceasefire violations from Azerbaijani side have been registered. 20 years after the signing of the agreement that ended the military phase of the conflict,  military and civilian losses still occur. We are profoundly convinced that such actions are not caused by military necessity and are in fact deliberate acts of murder and unjustified terror. 
 
Constant provocations on the Line of Contact and the ongoing threats of a new war by Azerbaijan only complicate the settlement process and distance the prospect of a final settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict. We are deeply convinced that only the complet elimination of the the possibility of resumption of hostilities can help to find a way out of the current situation in the conflict settlement process and provide a solid foundation for a lasting and final peace.
 
Recognizing the importance of strengthening confidence and security between the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan for the consolidation of the ceasefire regime and the exclusion of a new military escalation, the Karabakh side repeatedly came up with initiatives aimed at reducing tensions and promoting stability and predictability along the Line of Contact between the armed forces of the NKR and Azerbaijan. 
 
In particular, in 2001 the leadership of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic through  the Co-Chairs  of the OSCE Minsk Group transferred to the Azerbaijani side a package of confidence building measures, including the cooperation of the sides of the conflict in all spheres, along with the sphere of military security. Among the proposed measures was the confirmation by the sides at the highest level of their commitment to the preservation of the current ceasefire regime and settlement of the conflict only by peaceful means under the auspices of the OSCE, as well as establishment of direct communication lines between sides and/or their operational headquarters and at the local level. 
 
In 2004, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic proposed to establish a permanent monitoring of the ceasefire regime by means of expanding the staff of Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman.
 
In 2006, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic proposed that all three sides mutually reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the ceasefire regime enshrined in the agreement, which was reached under the auspices of the OSCE, by the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan and entered into force on 6 February 1995. 
 
In 2012, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, as an initial step, proposed to withdraw snipers from the Line of Contact and to refrain from any provocative actions during religious holidays (such as Easter and Novruz). 
 
Unfortunately, none of the proposals of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, despite mediators’  support of them and the calls of the international community, was accepted by the Azerbaijani side. 
Nevertheless, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, being committed to exclusively peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh through negotiations, as well as strengthening the stability and security in the South Caucasus, renews its proposals to consider a package of confidence and security building measures. 
 
20th anniversary of the entry into force of the ceasefire agreement in the zone of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict provides a good opportunity to reaffirm commitment to exclusively peaceful settlement and the renewal of proposals and initiatives designed to ensure the irreversibility of the peace process and achieving a final and lasting peace. 
 
Stepanakert 
May 12, 2014
 
 

Commentary of the NKR Foreign Ministry with Regards to the Recent Statement of the US Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick

 

We consider it necessary to note that the position of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic on the prospects of settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict remains unchanged.
 
Any return to the past is out of question. The fate of Nagorno Karabakh has been determined by its people through a free and legitimate expression of will in the 1991 referendum on independence. NKR independence and security are absolute values that are not subject to any bargaining.

We believe that the joint efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group should focus on the development of such settlement mechanisms that stem from current realities and provide conditions for the peaceful coexistence of two independent states - the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan – emerged as a result of the collapse of the USSR and the war unleashed by Azerbaijan.
 
Stepanakert
May 8, 2014
 
 

 

The NKR MFA Press-Service Commentary to Artsakhpress.am

 Question: How would you comment on the statement of Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov on expressing distrust of the U.S. Co-Chair of the Minsk Group  James Warlick, refusing working with him, and recalling him from the post of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair? 

Answer: This statement is yet another manifestation of the destructive position of Azerbaijan aimed at undermining the format of the triple co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group and artificial protraction of the settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. Such a stance of Azerbaijan testifies to the absence of its interest in the final settlement of the conflict.

Stepanakert

2 May, 2014

 

Commentary of the NKR MFA Press-Service to «Аrtsakhpress.am» on the 22nd Anniversary of the Maragha Massacre

 

One of the most tragic episodes of Azerbaijan’s military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was the massacre of the population of the village of Maragha in the Martakert region, NKR. On April 10, 1992, after intensive artillery shelling, the Azerbaijani armed units invaded the peaceful village and committed a ruthless reprisal over the defenseless people.

The attack on the village was not driven by military necessity but was aimed at annihilating its peaceful population. According to various sources, including those of such human rights organizations as the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, from 53 to 100 people were killed, more than 60 people, including 9 children and 29 women, were taken hostages. More than 30 hostages were subsequently killed in the Azerbaijani captivity. Two weeks later, the village was subjected to a renewed attack and its inhabitants, who returned to bury their relatives yet again fell victim to the atrocities committed by the Azerbaijani army.

This hideous crime in Maragha became the next in the chain of the anti-Armenian pogroms and deportations in Northern Artsakh, as well as Sumgait, Baku, Kirovobad and other settlements of Azerbaijan.

We note with regret, that the lack of the adequate political and legal assessment by the international community of the massacres and ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population in Azerbaijan and the impunity of the perpetrators of the crime paved a way for the cult of zealous hatred towards Armenians and anything Armenian and uncurbed propaganda of xenophobia, intolerance and militarism in today’s Azerbaijan.

To prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies in the future, the massacre in Maragha, like other manifestations of armenophobia, should be condemned by the international community and its organizers and perpetrators should receive deserved punishment.

Stepanakert

 11 April, 2014

 

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (the Artsakh Republic) considers the referendum held on March 16 in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as yet another manifestation of realization of the right of people to self-determination. 

The right of every people to choose its path of development and determine its destiny on its own through democratic expression of will, as it is enshrined in the UN Charter and a number of fundamental international documents, is a key principle of international law. 

The experience of recent years, in particular the referendums envisaged in Catalonia and Scotland prove that the recognition and realization of the inalienable right of people to self-determination is the most optimal and democratic way for the peaceful settlement of this kind of issues. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic hopes that the situation following the referendum in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will be addressed and resolved in the legal context exclusively by peaceful means.

Stepanakert

17 Mart, 2014

 

 

The response of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the question of Armenian News-NEWS.am information-analytical agency

 

Question: How would you comment the statement of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan that on January 23, “the Armenian armed forces fired the divisions of the Azerbaijani army and the monitoring group members” right after the completion of the monitoring of the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan in the Hadrut direction, near Horadiz settlement?  

Answer: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic dismisses yet another misinformation spread by Azerbaijan. The monitoring has passed without incidents, except for the fact that the Azeri side hasn’t led the OSCE mission to its front-lines. 

Stepanakert

January 23, 2014

 

Statement of the NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

In the early hours of January 20, the armed forces of Azerbaijan made two simultaneous diversion attempts at the Line of Contact with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the northeastern (Jraberd) and the southeastern (Korgan) directions.

The subversive actions of the Azerbaijani side, especially on the eve of the forthcoming meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, prove the aggressive intentions of Azerbaijan and seriously undermine the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries aimed at peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh.

Yet another fragrant violation of the ceasefire by the armed forces of Azerbaijan that led to the bloodshed should be strongly condemned and receive an adequate assessment of the international community.

 Stepanakert

January 20, 2014

 

Commentary of the NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the November 19 Meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan

 

The resumption of high level meetings between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan after a long break is important from the perspective of the intensification of the peaceful settlement process of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Karabakh and maintaining peace and stability in the region. We believe that the meeting proves that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement and serves to ensure its irreversibility.

At the same time, we consider it necessary to note that real progress in the settlement process could only be reached by taking into consideration the existing realities and with the restoration of full-format negotiations with direct and immediate participation of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in all its stages.

Stepanakert

November 20, 2013

 

 

 

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Nagorno Karabakh Republic

Azerbaijan, whose attempts to abort the negotiation process for the peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) are becoming more evident, has resorted to new propaganda tricks. 

The July 19, 2013 letter of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan to the UN Secretary General (circulated in the UN as a document A/67/952-S/2013/478 on August 13, 2013) is a vivid manifestation of such a policy of Azerbaijan.  

This time Azerbaijan is trying to utilize for its political goals the Syrian crisis, which is currently under the focus of the international community, in particular the fate of the Syrian Armenians that, along with other Syrian refugees, are forced to find refuge in different parts of the world. 

Overwhelmed by its mania of distorting the essence of the conflict and misleading the international community, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan did not hesitate to use obvious lies and misinformation. It should be noted in particular that no single person mentioned in the so-called “resettled people” list conveyed along with the letter to the UN Secretariat, has ever been, and is not currently on the territory of the NKR.  

Azerbaijan once again distorts and selectively interprets facts concerning the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, claiming that two field assessment missions of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs dispatched to Nagorno Karabakh have allegedly recorded "numerous violations of the norms and principles of international humanitarian law." 

It is well-known that those missions, which were carried out with the consent and support of the NKR authorities, in their reports refuted the Azeri allegations about the implementation of resettlement programs.  Meanwhile, it is appropriate to recall that Azerbaijan refused and still does not allow access for an OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ field assessment mission to the occupied territories of Nagorno Karabakh, where in an organized manner large-scale projects of settlement of Azeris are being implemented in previously Armenian-populated areas.   

It is a matter of special concern that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of a country with a status of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council uses direct threats in his letter. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic calls on the UN Member States to take measures preventing the attempts of Azerbaijan to use the high tribune of the UN for propaganda machinations, and support the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the conflict between the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan. 

 Stepanakert, 30 August, 2013

 

29.04.2013

Statement by the NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs In Connection with the 22nd Anniversary of Operation “Ring” on the Deportation of Border Villages of Artsakh

The operation “Ring”, launched by the special police detachments (OMON) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan, with the support of the USSR Interior Ministry's troops in April-May, 1991 holds a peculiar place in the history of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, both for its scope and consequences.

The operation, which became possible due to a criminal collusion between the Azerbaijani government and some USSR leaders, resulted in a complete devastation and destruction of more than two dozen villages of Northern Artsakh, as well as in Shahumyan, Hadrut and Shushi regions. It ended only after a month, thanks to wide publicity and condemnation both within the USSR and beyond.

But the wheels of the war were set in motion. The operation “Ring”, which stood out by its brutality and massive violations of human rights, sharply increased the level of tension in the region and shifted the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict to a plane of military actions, becoming a prelude to the subsequent full-scale aggression of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh.

However, Azerbaijan has failed to achieve its main goal - to intimidate the population of Nagorno-Karabakh and suppress their legitimate aspirations for self-determination. On the contrary, the operation “Ring” only strengthened the determination of the people of Artsakh to fight for their rights and freedoms. 

NKR MFA Statement on the 21st Anniversary of Massacres in Maragha village  

10.04.2013

The Azerbaijan's military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which became the continuation of Baku policy of violent crackdown on the expression of free will of the people of Nagorno Karabakh is abound with outrageous facts of crimes against the civilian population.

One of its most tragic episodes was a massacre of the population of the village of Maragha in Martakert region, NKR committed by the units of the Azerbaijani army on April 10, 1992. The bloody events in Maragha were certainly a war crime, as the attack on the village was not driven by military necessity but aimed to annihilate its peaceful population.

On this day, after intensive artillery shelling the Azerbaijani armed units invaded the peaceful village and committed a ruthless reprisal over defenseless people. This fact was later confirmed by various human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. According to various sources from 53 to 100 people were killed, more than 60 people including 9 children and 29 women were taken hostages. More than 30 hostages were subsequently killed in Azerbaijani captivity. Two weeks later, the village was subjected to a renewed attack and its inhabitants who returned to bury their relatives yet again fell victim to atrocities committed by the Azerbaijani army.

This hideous crime in Maragha became the next in the chain of the anti-Armenian pogroms and deportations in Northern Artsakh, as well as Sumgait, Baku, Kirovobad and other settlements of Azerbaijan, which aimed at intimidating people and depriving them of the opportunity to live on their native land.

It was the lack of the adequate political and legal assessment of the international community of the massacres and ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population in Azerbaijan which paved a way for the war crime committed by the Azerbaijani army in the village of Maragha.

Impunity for those crimes has created a fertile ground for the implanting of the cult of zealous hatred towards Armenians and anything Armenian and uncurbed propaganda of xenophobia, intolerance and militarism in Azerbaijan.

To break this vicious circle and prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies in the future, the massacre in Maragha should be condemned by the international community, and its organizers and perpetuators punished.

 

The NKR MFA Statement on the 25-th anniversary of Sumgait pogroms

27.02.2013

 

Mass murders and pogroms of Armenians took place from 27 to 29 February, 1988 in Sumgait, a city located less than 30 kilometers away from the Azeri capital Baku. For three days, upon the silent agreement of the authorities and complete inaction of the law enforcement agencies people were being murdered, raped and maimed for the mere reason of being Armenian. Dozens of killed, hundreds of maimed and thousands of Armenians expelled from Sumgait became the first victims of Azerbaijan’s policy of terror aimed at the Armenians of Karabakh who in the preceding week had officially declared their intention to exercise their right to self-determination. In spite of the peaceful and legitimate nature of those manifestations in Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan from the very beginning rejected dialogue, resorted to the language of threats and intimidation and pursued policy of violent oppression of the free will of the people of Artsakh.

Unfortunately, the Sumgait massacre has not received an adequate political and legal assessment of the international community yet. Moreover, silencing the truth about the Sumgait tragedy, concealing its true causes, and the impunity granted to its masterminds paved the way for ethnic cleansing carried out throughout Azerbaijan. It reached its climax during the bloody massacres and mass deportations of Armenians of Baku in January 1990, which later led to a full-scale military aggression against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

The tragic events in Sumgait laid the fertile ground and contributed to the further development of the zealous hatred towards Armenians and anything Armenian continuously and successively implanted in Azerbaijan and its society. In today’s Azerbaijan, despite the international community’s calls to prepare its population for peace instead of war, xenophobia, intolerance and belligerence are being spread. Anyone in Azerbaijan, who stands for building any bridges to Armenians is severely intimidated and ostracized by the Government. At the same time, the Azeri officer, who was convicted in Hungary to a life sentence for the brutal Sumgait-type murder of the fellow Armenian classmate, is being glorified as a national hero and role model for youth.

25 years later we pay tribute to the innocent victims of the Sumgait tragedy, and call on the international community to express its firm and unambiguous position in relation to that crime against humanity. A clear and unequivocal assessment of those mass murders and pogroms and condemnation of the forces behind them will both prevent the recurrence of such crimes and contribute to the moral improvement of the Azeri society.

2012-07-24 10:32

On July 19, the presidential elections were held in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (the Republic of Artsakh). 73,4% of the voters participated in the elections. International observers from 22 countries, as well as local representatives of civil society and political parties monitored the elections. According to the international observers’ preliminary estimate, the elections were held in compliance with the democratic standards and participation of several candidates thus ensuring free expression of will of the republic’s citizens. 

The level of the elections held in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is comparable with the level of elections in the advanced democratic countries, and testifies to the irreversibility of the process of building a sovereign and independent state, commitment of our people to the ideals of freedom, democracy and peace building. The elections have once more demonstrated the correctness of the path chosen in the 1991 referendum on independence. With every election the people of the NKR express their firm will to continue this path and the return of the NKR to the past is out of the question.

In this regard, we consider it necessary to state that the participation in the elections and the formation of authorities via honest and fair elections is one of the fundamental rights fixed in the international law and their ignorance and non-recognition is a gross violation of the law.

The speculations that the elections in the NKR may hinder the process of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement are groundless and pursue propaganda goals. The will of the NKR people is crucial in the conflict settlement process and this is fully recognized by the international community and the mediators.  

Development of democracy is a fundamental basis of state building in the NKR and corresponds to the interests of the civilized world community. That is why the attitude towards the presidential elections held in the NKR cannot be stipulated by subjective opinion of several political circles displaying conformism to the caprices of the official Baku.   

Stepanakert, July 20, 2012   

June 21, 2012

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic supports the joint statement of the Presidents of Russia, the USA, and France on the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict issued in Los Cabos.

We always had a positive attitude to such initiatives aimed at a peaceful solution to the issue, taking into account all the principles of international law, and reaffirm our readiness to follow the appeals and recommendations of the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing states.

At the same time, we have to state that the Azerbaijani party continues to interpret the statement of the mediators in a way favorable for itself and to set pre-conditions, thus torpedoing these initiatives. Azerbaijan continues to boycott the implementation of key confidence-building measures in the region, such as elaboration of corresponding mechanisms for investigating the incidents at the borderline, withdrawal of snipers from the contact-line, and others.

Unfortunately, official Baku hasn’t refused yet of the initially assumed force method of solving the conflict. Azerbaijan, representing a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the responsibilities of which include fighting for the security in the region, refuses of civilized ways of solving the issue.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic expresses hope that this time the authorities of Azerbaijan will display constructivism and abandon their futile policy of military-force blackmail and sabotage threatening the fragile regional security and stability.

We believe that only through a political dialogue, with the equal participation of the Nagorno Karabakh party, it is possible to achieve progress in the negotiations on the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement and to establish lasting peace in the region.

Town of Stepanakert

June 21, 2012

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic states that Azerbaijan continues to actively violate the cease-fire along the entire line of contact between the armed forces of the NKR and AR. On June 18, 2012, at 8:15 am, as a result of gross violation by the Azerbaijani armed forces, conscript of the NKR Defense Army Aram S. Gyulnazarian, born in 1993, was killed.

The next provocation by Azerbaijan is an open challenge to the OSCE, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states, a boycott of previous commitments and agreements and an attempt to disrupt the upcoming Paris meeting of Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. A сorresponding note, which reflects the official viewpoint of the NKR authorities on this issue, is submitted to the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

We condemn the aggressive and criminal actions of Azerbaijan and declare that the responsibility for the further escalation of tension rests with the Azerbaijani party. Such ongoing criminal tricks of Azerbaijan force us to resort to adequate retaliatory measures.

We believe that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should pass from unaddressed statements to tough estimates and sanctions against Azerbaijan for its armed-force policy, for impeding a peaceful settlement, arousing hatred, and unleashing a new war in the region.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic reaffirms its commitment to the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict by exceptionally peaceful means and its readiness to permanently carry out the existing obligations of the parties to maintain the ceasefire provided by the February 5, 1995 agreement, which was signed by the heads of the Defense Offices of the NKR, RA, and AR.

 The NKR Foreign Ministry expresses its confidence that the international community will call upon the Azerbaijani authorities to abandon the futile policy of blackmail, threats and acts of sabotage and to return to a constructive dialogue for achieving lasting peace in the region and a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

 Town of Stepanakert

June 18, 2012

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
NKR, Stepanakert, Azatamartikneri 28
Tel: (+374 47) 9 44087, Fax: (+374 47) 9 71551
Web: www.nkr.am
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