January 20, 2021 – 18:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – Statements from Azerbaijani authorities do not contribute to peace and stability in the region, Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian told lawmakers on Wednesday, January 20, maintaining that the city of Shushi in Nagorno-Karabakh remains a center of Armenian culture.
Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev earlier threatened Armenian officials for visiting Artsakh (Karabakh). Aliyev also visited Shushi, where he once again declared that Shushi is “an Azerbaijani city”.
Ayvazyan noted that Aliyev contradicts himself, by first declaring that the conflict is over, and then threatening with escalation.
“My recent visit to Artsakh was important, we discussed issues of creating a common agenda and combining our work with Artsakh. The Armenian side is ready to start negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group format and negotiate around the fundamental principles. For us, the priority issue is the de-occupation of the territories of Artsakh and the return of the Armenian population to their homes. Unimpeded provision of humanitarian aid and preservation of cultural and religious heritage are also important,” Aivazian said.
He added that Shushi is a center of Armenian culture, According to him, regardless of who said what, the Armenian side does not agree that Shushi can become the center of Azerbaijani culture.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev on November 9 signed a statement to end the war in Karabakh after almost 45 days. Under the deal, the Armenian side has returned all the seven regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, having lost a part of Karabakh itself in hostilities.