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For Israel It's Just Trade, For Us It's Death: RA Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

RA Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan's Interview to the Jerusalem Post

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, how do you view the future of relations between the two countries?
It is clear to me that there is good potential for the two nations in developing relations. It is so visible what potential we have. We have a great history and civilization. We have an enormous sense of national identity and pride, so we can work together in so many fields of economy, agriculture, hi-tech, tourism, direct flights, health culture, education and so on and so forth.

Do Israel’s relations with Azerbaijan, including selling weapons to its army, stand in the way? Is this an obstacle?
It has been and remains an issue of great concern for us on several counts. Israel’s arms trade is a weapon of death for our people. We have been witnessing the use of such weapons against our people. We have losses because of your weapons that are used against us. We are a security conscious nation and are highly confident in our capacity to defend ourselves, and you will understand very well what that means. At the same time, we are dedicated to developing peace and security in our region. The arms race in our region does not contribute to building peace and security.

And you have good ties with Iran, which is an enemy of Israel and threatens its existence?
We are very insistent that building relations with one partner will not be at the expense of another partner. But we also expect that all our partners will do the same. We are also very sensitive to the sensitivities of our partners.

Are you surprised that Israel refuses to recognize what happened to your people as genocide?
“It’s not a matter for me to be surprised. I represent a nation that still faces the pressure of justice denied over 105 years. My people are victories because we were supposed to be wiped off the face of the earth.

Still my question is, are you surprised and disappointed about Israel’s position?

The question of denied justice is about humanity. It is for Israel to decide whether to recognize [the Armenian genocide] or not. It is not about Armenia, it is about Israel. It is our collective duty nowadays to reduce the risk of genocide and atrocities.

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Do you support the concept of Armenia's Prime Minister that any solution of Karabakh conflict should be acceptable for the people of Armenia, people of Artsakh and people of Azerbaijan?