Speech of Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan delivered at the Opening of the "Cooperation for Justice and Peace" Forum of Artsakh Friends
Dear participants of the forum,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I extend my most heartfelt welcome to all of you in the Artsakh Republic.
Today's event is distinguished both by its content and the participant list. This is the pioneering pro-Artsakh forum, which has brought together, under the same roof, political, public, cultural figures, human rights advocates, scientists, analysts and journalists from different countries who support Artsakh. Here are members of the friendship groups and circles with Artsakh, representatives of administrative units and political forces having recognized the independence of the Artsakh Republic or have been cooperating with us.
Remaining true to the democratic principles and humanitarian values, you have spared no effort supporting Artsakh for years, raising awareness about and rendering objective information on our country on diverse international platforms, carrying out activities towards the development of bilateral relations and the implementation of multifaceted programs in Artsakh.
We are grateful to you for all the painstaking work you carry out, we highly appreciate your pursuits and are glad to have friends like you.
The discussion points on the forum agenda touch upon almost all the spheres of our republic's activity. This format enables having a clear and full picture of the realities, outlining and setting the record straight on the future plans.
In this context, it is crucial to present once again our vision of the Artsakh Republic state-building process and our foreign policy imperatives, which is a unique roadmap for your work as well.
Building an independent, sovereign and strong state has always been the backbone of our state-building, our trinity with Armenia and the Diaspora, our commitment to democratic values and principles being among its pillars.
The full-fledged security of Artsakh in all the dimensions is a must for us. Even the slightest decline in our security will tempt our opponents to launch a new aggression which itself is pregnant with unpredictable consequences. For this very reason security issues are top priority in the negotiation process too.
Drawing upon the negotiation process, I would like to reaffirm our commitment to peaceful settlement of relations with Azerbaijan around the negotiation table under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. It should be mentioned that it is impossible to achieve real progress without the restoration of the full-fledged negotiation format with the direct participation of Artsakh. Obviously, the fate of Artsakh cannot be decided without its participation and there is no return to the past, both with respect to status and borders.
The principles of balanced and multi-vectored approach remain at the root of the Artsakh Republic foreign policy.
Maintaining equally good-neighborly relations with Europe, the USA, Russia as well as regional states is a foreign strategy imperative for us. This stance is derivative from both the specificity of our region and the existence of the Armenian Diaspora.
In the foreign policy realm official Stepanakert will continue placing special emphasis on forging and enhancing relations with different countries and states and their administrative units.
Any period of time generates new problems, requires clarification and refinement of strategies and tactics to face various challenges. Here close cooperation between Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora, cementing the working relationships between Artsakh and its friends is of utmost importance.
We have lot more work to do and diverse issues to solve, however, they are very much realistic. I am confident that we will succeed in solving them efficiently, and within this context holding such events has a great role to play.
I wish productive work to the forum, robust health, success and all the best to the participants.
Stepanakert, the 11th of October 2019.