19 Mar 2018 18:32

No positive shift in talks on Karabakh - Armenian president

YEREVAN. March 19 (Interfax) - The peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict is a priority security task for Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, but there has been no positive news about progress in negotiations, incumbent Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said.

"The peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a priority security task for Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh [the Armenian name of Nagorno-Karabakh]. Our stance remains the same, which I have repeatedly reiterated at various international platforms, and I see no point in repeating [it]. At the same time, unfortunately, I cannot share any positive news about progress in negotiations with you," Sargsyan said at an operational meeting of the senior personnel of the Armenian Armed Forces in the Defense Ministry on Monday.

Armenia will continue negotiations on the Karabakh settlement and partnership contacts with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, he said.

"However, the main responsibility lies with the conflicting parties, and we have always represented our part well in this matter. This is why our army has been, is, and will be the main factor in settling the Karabakh issue. The Armed Forces are our support amid the threats constantly voiced by Baku. The enemy's combat actions in April 2016 were a major attempt to test the balance of power. And of course, they failed in this attempt," Sargsyan said.

"Our task in the existing circumstances is to maintain the configuration of the positions. Moreover, we should work consistently and always be ready to resist the enemy's every attempt, both small and big, to disrupt the balance of power," he said.

The Armenian side "has repeatedly showed the enemy and would show again, if necessary, that it's futile to attempt to resolve the Karabakh issue by military means," Sargsyan said.

"And each time, the more competent and painful our retaliation is, the deeper we implant this truth into their consciousness. The main objective of our consistent work will be to reinforce this realization in the mind of our enemy," Sargsyan said.