Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

Source: Reuters

Caption: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

Azerbaijan condemns Pashinyan’s speech in Nagorno-Karabakh

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has called its Armenian counterpart's reaction to the Azerbaijani government's statement on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's recent rhetoric calling for pan-Armenian goals in the Caucasus region “quite chaotic and lacking in logic.”

“By a similarly clumsy explanation of its “noble intentions”, the Armenian Foreign Ministry already, following the Prime Minister has actually directly [condoned the] annexationist policy towards the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan," the ministry said in a statement last Wednesday.

The statement later added that the Armenian government, with its “inadequate approach", is undermining the negotiation process that aims to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The ministry’s statement comes after the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned what it called a "personal attack" by the Azerbaijani government, saying that [Azerbaijan] generally shows "intolerance and hatred towards the Armenian people".

The Armenian ministry’s statement also denounced the Azerbaijani government's refusal to engage in a direct dialogue with the Nagorno-Karabakh people.

The statement also finds it regrettable that the Azerbaijani government is unable “to understand the context and the content of the speech of […]Nikol Pashinyan", and confirms Pashinyan’s “pan-Armenian agenda of advancing unity, solidarity, development and prosperity for Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Diaspora.”

A day earlier, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs sharply criticized the Armenian prime minister's speech on Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Despite the fact that his statement is primarily intended for internal audiences, it does not give him any reason to call for annexation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” the ministry statement reads on Aug. 6.

The ministry also called Pashinyan’s statement “aggressive" saying that it “clearly contradicts the spirit and the essence of the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” that is going on for already more than two decades.

In a speech delivered in the central square of the Nargono-Karabakh capital of Khankendi (Stepanakert) on Monday Pashinyan called for the unity of the Armenian people, including the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, as part of fulfillment of the pan-Armenian goals.

“I am convinced that many of you wonder why I am saying nothing about Artsakh [Karabakh]. The answer is very simple: Artsakh is Armenia. Period,” Pashinyan was quoted as saying by RFE/RL.

Pashinyan also said that the negotiation with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be “the defense of the results of the liberation struggle waged for the sovereignty and security of the Artsakh people.”

“Any solution reached as a result of negotiations that will be considered acceptable for the governments of Armenia and Artsakh can be regarded as acceptable only if it is popularly endorsed by people in Armenia and Artsakh,” he said.

Since the early 1990s, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in negotiations over the predominantly Armenian populated Nagorno-Karabakh of the country that was seized by Armenian armed forces in a fully-escalated six-years war that claimed 30,000 lives and left thousands displaced.

Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other Azerbaijani-populated adjacent territories to it have been under the control of Armenian-backed forces.

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