Basic Principles and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

* Basic Principles

“We have received answers from the Armenian side regarding the updated Madrid Principles.. Not only all proposals are accepted by Armenia. Azerbaijan accepts the proposals and says it's waiting for the outcome of the Co-Chair's contacts with the Armenian side,” Russian Co-chairs Yuri Merzlyakov told reporters in Stepanakert.

“However, we do not strain the situation, as a couple of years ago the same situation was observed in relation to the Madrid principles which Armenia accepted but it turned out that it accepted them not completely, while Azerbaijan refused to accept them and we have long been working to reach a coordinated result,” he said. Merzlyakov also noted that the sides had come to a common agreement in a relation to the Madrid principles except for four points.

One of the parties declares it agrees with the principles except for several points. Now, it's the other party.

French co-chair Bernard Fassier in turn noted that the proposals on the Madrid principles are still discussed and the fact that the sides periodically come to an agreement on some points proves the seriousness of the process and contributes to mutual understanding,” French Co-Chair Bernard Fassier said, voicing hope that the framework of mutual understanding could be expanded.

“War is not an option. A new war will not change history and geography and will further aggravate the problem,” Fassier concluded.

* Minsk Group : Statement

"The Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Ambassador Yuri Merzlyakov, Russian Federation; Ambassador Bernard Fassier, France; Ambassador Robert Bradtke, United States) visited Yerevan and Nagorno-Karabkah March 26-29. They updated the de facto authorities March 27 on the current state of negotiations.

In Yerevan March 28, the Co-Chairs met President Serzh Sargsian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to further discuss Armenian comments on the Basic Principles for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. While in Armenia, the Co-Chairs also had a number of other separate bilateral meetings.

After the recent meetings between the Co-Chairs and the parties in Paris and in the region, the Co-Chairs note with satisfaction the commitment of the parties to reach a peaceful settlement within the framework of the Madrid Principles."

* David Babayan

“The approaches of the parties towards the Karabakh conflict settlement are different, and the process will last long,” Assistant to NKR President David Babayan told “Radiolur,” commenting on the visit of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Stepanakert and the outcome of their meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.

The updated Madrid Principles presented to the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan are interpreted by the parties in different ways. Official Baku, which was stubbornly rejecting that the negotiations were based on the Madrid Principles, declares that the updated the document is acceptable. This made political analysts conclude that the there is a distorted view of the updated principles.

“Artsakh's position on the settlement of conflict settlement has not changed,” David Babayan said, adding that he did not think the resolution of the issue was possible within the coming five years.

“It's impossible to reach a solution until Baku changes its position,” David Babayan said. According to him, the possibility of resumption of war is not great, since there is balance between the parties, he noted.

Public Radio of Armenia