YEREVAN, August 15. /ARKA/. In an interview with BBC HARDtalk program Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said peace with Azerbaijan cannot be achieved through Armenia’s unilateral actions only. He said real peace is possible if Azerbaijan reciprocates Armenia’s efforts, adding also that it was Azerbaijan that attacked Armenia in July.
Considering that Baku claims the opposite, and the international community hears two versions of the events, the head of the Armenian government noted that it is necessary to establish a monitoring system on the line of contact.
Pashinyan also accused Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev of militant rhetoric and an attempt to resolve the conflict by force. Pashinyan said after becoming Prime Minister he proposed a new formula for peace – any solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be acceptable to the peoples of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan. ‘I’m the first Armenian leader ever to tell that the solution should be acceptable to Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani President did not reciprocate my proposal,” Pashinyan said.
“For a long time Azerbaijan’s President has been developing a bellicose rhetoric, saying he will solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict using military force. As a result of that bellicose rhetoric, the Azerbaijani government is facing the challenge to explain to its own society why it fails to solve the conflict through force,” Pashinyan stated.
Pashinyan also commented on his famous statement that “Karabakh is Armenia, period!”
“Why did I say that Nagorno-Karabakh, Artsakh is Armenia? First, Nagorno-Karabakh has been inhabited by the indigenous Armenian people for several thousand years,” Pashinyan said.
“The reality is that at the time the conflict started, 80-90% of the population was Armenian, and Azerbaijan tried to cleanse the land of Armenians. And the conflict started from that moment,” he stressed.
On July 12 the Armenian military thwarted a pre-dawn Azerbaijani raid on one of its border posts in the northern Tavush province. At least 12 Azerbaijani soldiers, including a general, and five Armenian servicemen were killed in the fierce fighting before it stopped on July 16.
Azerbaijani Armed Forces used artillery, drones and other weapons to fire at Armenian military outposts, several villages and the city of Berd causing damages to houses and infrastructure.