The new Armenian Foreign Minister bets on diplomatic channels in the Karabakh conflict

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Ara Aivazián, new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia GOVERNMENT OF ARMENIA / GEVOR PER 11/19/2020

The new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Ara Aivazián, has opted for diplomatic channels to resolve the conflict in the Nagorno Karabakh region, following the ceasefire agreement signed on November 9 with Azerbaijan under the mediation of Russia.

“The continuation of the heroic struggle of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) for his survival is gradually passing from the battlefield to the diplomatic field and everyone understands that this is an enormous duty they have before the state, the people and history”, the new head of Armenian diplomacy has affirmed. “I am sure that this phase we will strive to do the impossible,” he added.

Aivazián assumes the Foreign Ministry since Thursday after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinián decided to dismiss his predecessor, Zograb Mnatsakanián, due to the discrepancies shown in public regarding the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan.

The dismissal came after Pashinian argued in Parliament that the Armenian Foreign Ministry had been considering handing over the town of Shusha, the second most important town in Nagorno Karabakh, to Azerbaijan for years, a statement that was publicly rejected by Mnatsakanyan, who assured that never their delivery to the neighboring country had been considered.

The removal of the foreign minister also comes within the framework of the political crisis derived from the rejection of the Armenian opposition parties to the ceasefire agreement for Nagorno Karabakh, which they consider a capitulation to Azerbaijan because they understand that it puts the disputed region at risk.

At the inauguration of the new Foreign Minister in Yerevan, Pashinyan stressed that now “the most important and most difficult front is the diplomatic one” and has hoped that the arrival of Aivazian will allow the diplomatic service to be united to solve current problems.

“We are in a very difficult period. Somehow, the military load is reducing, due to the already known circumstances, but the diplomatic load is increasing accordingly. I trust that (the former minister) Mnatsakanián, who has great respect and authority in the diplomatic service, please help us in this regard “, stressed the Armenian prime minister.

For his part, Mnatsakanián has assured that he is convinced that Aivazián has “the necessary potential” to lead the Foreign Ministry and “advance” the “national agenda in foreign policy” of Armenia.

The pact signed by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia includes a cessation of hostilities, the deployment of 1,960 Russian military personnel as peacekeepers on the line of separation in Nagorno Karabakh, the establishment of an observer-controlled truce monitoring center. Russians and Turks and located on Azerbaijani soil and the return of Azeri territories controlled since 1994 by Armenia, including Shusha, the second most important town in the disputed region.

The agreement has been rejected by the opposition political formations because they consider it a capitulation to Azerbaijan and for fear that it will end up putting the Nagorno Karabakh region at risk, with a majority of Armenian population and de facto controlled by the Armenian authorities since the end of the last war.

© 2020 Europa Press.

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