06, 2012

President Serzh Sargsyan responded to the question of the Panorama.am reporter regarding the border incidents

Loss of every Armenian soldier is a loss for our entire nation. We all mourn with the families of the fallen. Retaliation, no matter how ferocious it is, cannot alleviate our grief.

I have said more than once that provocations on the line of contact are extremely dangerous. I have also said that these provocations will receive harsh response which is evidenced by the incidents of the recent days.

These provocations have been instigated either through the orders of the Azeri leadership, and in that case they bear personal responsibility for the violation of the ceasefire which constitutes a blatant violation of the international obligations assumed by Azerbaijan, or the armed forces of that country are our of control and in that case we are dealing not with an organized army but rather with the individual field commanders.

We have no reason whatsoever to apply military force since we believe that the Nagorno Karabakh issue can be solved exclusively through peaceful means which will be stemming from the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to exercise their right of self-determination. In order to move forward on that direction, as it has been noted many times by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the peoples should be prepared for peace rather than war. The Azerbaijani side continues to implement the exactly opposite approach, viewing the fueling of xenophobia as a means to divert the attention of the citizens of Azerbaijan from the country’s internal problems.

It is particularly unsettling that the provocations are taking place when a meeting of the Armenian and Azeri intellectuals initiated by the Russian Federation and aimed at the confidence building is taking place in Moscow, and when the Secretary of State of the United States – another Co-Chair country – in conducting a regional visit to the Caucasus.

We don’t want the escalation of the situation; however any action against our citizens, state borders and Nagorno Karabakh will be retaliated. The Army of the Republic of Armenia has received strict orders to display restraint and vigilance; at the same time they will prevent and punish any encroachment. I am confident that the international community and the population of Azerbaijan do realize whose hands are soaked in the blood of the victims.

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