YEREVAN, March 14. /ARKA/. The resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be based on respect for the right of peoples to self-determination, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian said on Wednesday during a joint briefing with visiting Georgian counterpart Salome Zourabichvili.
Sarkissian said they discussed the settlement of regional conflicts and agreed that they are not alike and therefore, there is no a universal option for their settlement.
‘In my personal opinion, solutions should be achieved exclusively by peaceful means, in accordance with international laws. In case of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), the solution should be based on respect for the right of peoples to self-determination, “said Sarkissian.
In turn, Salome Zourabichvili said that there are many challenges in the region. “It is necessary to know that the main and only way is a peaceful settlement (of conflicts) based on the norms of international law. All this should occur through dialogue and negotiations. For Georgia it is important that regional conflicts not move to the territory of our country,” Salome Zourabichvili said.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year.
On April 2, 2016, Azerbaijan launched military assaults along the entire perimeter of its contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh. Four days later a cease-fire was reached.