YEREVAN, January 22. /ARKA/. Karabakh problem should be solved by negotiations, candidate for president and current president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said as quoted by Novosti-Armenia Agency.
“No matter what outcome the war will have, damage will be great to Armenia and Karabakh, as well as to Azerbaijan. That is why our sole wish is to get the issue solved through negotiations. It is the most unfailing way,” Sargsyan said in his speech to Avan community of Yerevan Monday.
The president also mentioned that the negotiations went into a passive stage after Azerbaijan had refused to accept conditions proposed by OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in summer 2011.
The Karabakh conflict started in 1988 when prevailingly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh declared withdrawal from Azerbaijan. On December 10, 1991, a referendum was held in Nagorno-Karabakh where 99.89% voted for independence from Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan responded by large-scale military operations that led to loss of control not only over Nagorno-Karabakh itself, but also over seven adjoining areas. About 25-30 thousands people were killed and about a million had to leave their homes during the military operations.
A trilateral cease-fire agreement was signed on May 12, 2004, and has been followed since then.
The ongoing Karabakh peace process started in 1992 under auspices of OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France. -0-