Question: My question is addressed to the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Nalbandian, what is your position on the opening of Khojaly airport, as it is an illegal step by Armenia? How would you comment it?
Answer: First of all, there is the statement of OSCE Minsk group Co-Chairs concerning the opening of Stepanakert’s airport of Nagorno-Karabakh. That statement urges the sides not to politicize the issue of the airport opening. Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia have never politicized and have no intention to politicize the issue of the opening of Stepanakert airport. By its daily statements, Azerbaijan is politicizing that issue, thus, violating its assurances to the Co-Chairs.
Second, the Co-Chairs have on numerous occasions urged the sides to reject any threat or use of force against civil aircraft. Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia have never threatened to use force against civil aircraft. Azerbaijan has threatened and is continuously threatening to use force against civil aircraft thus, violating its assurances to the Co-Chairs.
You know, that the Co-Chairs have also noted, that opening of Stepanakert airport would not predetermine the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Neither Karabakh, nor Armenia has ever linked the opening of Stepanakert airport to the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh issue, including the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia, as well as Nagorno-Karabakh has repeatedly stated at the highest level that the opening of the airport in Stepanakert is only for civilian and humanitarian purposes.
We need to look at issues as they are, and not escalate the situation by such statements which are contrary to the approaches of the international community expressed by the internationally mandated OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.