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Armenia Offers Azerbaijan Joint Monitoring 

In an interview to France 24 TV, Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan stated that Armenia is willing to incorporate measures towards minimizing risks of military escalation and investigating violations of ceasefire.

“We are very insistent on that. We are very insistent on further measures including the expansion of monitoring, the establishment of a direct line on the ground. And those are the measures that will help us to control the ceasefire regime,” stated Mnatsakanyan calling upon Azerbaijan “to come to reason”, accept the suggestions and work with Armenia towards strengthening the ceasefire regime.

Mnatsakanyan reiterated Armenia’s full commitment to the strictly peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The war is not an option. The war is a total catastrophe for the entire region. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are capable to defending themselves. But war should be totally ruled out. We are fully committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in a way that addresses the interests of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as Azerbaijan in an equal measure…

… We have to work on such a balance of commitments that helps to achieve a propotionate compromise, it has to be a compromise-based solution, the maximalist position of Azerbaijan is not helpful in this. Therefore, we will continue to work towards this within the internationally agreed format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.”

To the question that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chaimanship has not led anywhere, is it not expedient to revisit the format and do something else instead of focusing on something that has not been working, Mnatsakanyan responded: “Well, I cannot agree that it hasn’t been working. It has been working very effectively, it has been a very solid basis, very solid platform, in which all the three countries – Russia, France and the United States, have been working in a very engaging manner. They continue to make very important contribution to the peace process. I do consider this is a very positive role and we do not see any reason why it should change.”