Pashinyan: "We will not refuse to dialogue, and we will carefully listen to the counterarguments of our colleagues"
19 March 2019

Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan held a press conference in Yerevan on Tuesday, during which he reviewed progress in the work of his government and addressed a number of topical issues, including future negotiations to resolve the Karabakh conflict.

Armenpress  news agency reports from Yerevan, that asked how long Armenia is ready to wait if Azerbaijan doesn't agree with his call to include Nagorno-Karabakh in the negotiation process Pashinyan replied:

"There is no need to wait at all. It's just necessary to work consistently in the diplomatic process because, frankly speaking, what is stated publicly, is not something new both for the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and Azerbaijan. What we have said at this period, I have proposed that agenda during certain talks: that is the same agenda which was formed in May 2018, we continue serving that agenda, and I want to highlight an important nuance: as I have already announced in Stepanakert, this is neither a whim nor a precondition from our side. This proposal is not for changing the format, but for restoring the negotiation format. We will continue the discussion on this topic with our partners and will try to continue this discussion in the field of facts because negotiation is a negotiation in a sense that we listen to each other. Armenia has demonstrated that ability, to listen to the other, try to understand, and we expect the same from them".

The Armenian prime minister reminded the media that in the last year he had made a number of statements calling for the inclusion of Nagorno-Karabakh in the negotiations, adding that "this series of statements is not a challenge, but an invitation to dialogue, a part of the dialogue process. This dialogue didn't start just now, it started in Dushanbe, continued in St. Petersburg, Davos, I don't know where the next dialogue will take place, and we do not imagine a situation where one of the sides says it refuses to dialogue. That will not be a logical approach, we will not refuse to dialogue, we will put our facts on the table during that dialogue and we will carefully listen to the counter-arguments of our colleagues. I think the constructive and effective solution or continuation must be within this logical framework", Pashinyan said.

During the press conference Pashinyan also addressed his critics. He dismissed suggestions that there was instability in Armenia or that new elections were likely. Hinting that these critics were related to the previous government Pashinyan had a stark message for them. "These people must understand their ship has sailed long ago, they wouldn't catch up with it even on a Ferrari, their chapter is closed. They have one way, stand before the people, repent and ask for forgiveness". Pashinyan added that millions of dollars are being spent on a smear campaign against his government, but the government is not taking any actions against this. Pashinyan did not specify who the propagandists are, armenpress reported.

source: with Armenpress news agency, Yerevan

photo: Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan addressing a press conference in Yerevan on 19 March 2019 (picture courtesy of Armenpress news agency, Yerevan)