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Ruben Vardanyan responds to Aliyev's remarks over talks with Artsakh Armenians

Former Russian-Armenian businessman Ruben Vardanyan, who recently took over as Artsakh state minister, has responded to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest remarks over direct talks with Artsakh ArmeniansPanorama.am reports.

At a meeting with a European Union delegation on Thursday, Aliyev said Baku is ready to talk with Karabakh Armenians, “people who live in Karabakh and want to live there”, about their rights and security, but rejected dialogue with Vardanyan as a man representing the Artsakh government, adding he “has been sent from Moscow with a clear agenda.”

In a public post on Facebook, Vardanyan welcomed Aliyev’s “desire to start a direct dialogue” with Artsakh, but called for explanations over the alleged “clear agenda” he talked about.

“I have repeatedly emphasized that I renounced my Russian citizenship to avoid accusations that I was pursuing someone else’s interests in Artsakh, except for the interests of the Artsakh people. I believe that I fully comply with the criterion of a negotiator put forward by Mr. Aliyev, i.e. ‘lives in Karabakh and wants to live there’,” the minister wrote.

Vardanyan stressed that the leaders of the two countries “should take full responsibility and, no matter how difficult it may be, sit down at the negotiating table and stop the bloodshed.”

Also, he underscored that France should be among the international mediators for talks between Azerbaijan and Artsakh along with Russia and the United States.


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