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Armenia Warns Azerbaijan Against Hampering Karabakh Settlement

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian
YEREVAN -- Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has warned Azerbaijan against disregarding the principle of self-determination in negotiations to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Nalbandian's remarks on February 16 came in response to Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamadyarov's statement the previous day stressing that "Baku sees Nagorno-Karabakh's future status within Azerbaijan and the main issue is the solution to the problem of occupied territories and the return of
Azerbaijani refugees to their former homes."

Nalbandian said in a statement that "what is important is not who sees what, but who decides. And this [issue] is up to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to
decide. This is also expressly stated in some provisions of the Madrid document that were published [during last year's G8 summit in L'Aquila] immediately after the statement by the presidents of Russia, the United States, and France."

He continued that "if Azerbaijan is against this basic principle, then it in fact obstructs the settlement process. It also obstructs the settlement by opposing Nagorno-Karabakh's participation in the negotiations, because it is impossible to achieve progress in the settlement without Nagorno-Karabakh's direct participation."