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Flights To Karabakh To Start When Stepanakert Airport Is Ready - Arm

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  • Flights To Karabakh To Start When Stepanakert Airport Is Ready - Arm


    Nov 26 2012

    Armenia will open an air route to Karabakh when the Stepanakert Airport
    is ready, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said in an interview
    with Interfax.

    "I think there will be no problems and the air route will operate
    normally, same as the only motorway that links Karabakh to the rest
    of the world," he said.

    Engineering and navigation problems are being solved to ensure the
    airport's compliance with air traffic standards. "Once the works are
    done, flights will begin," the prime minister said.

    "We have the following position: this is the right of the
    self-determined people of Karabakh, this is a vital corridor for
    Karabakh people who must live a life consistent with international
    principles of the 21st century," he said.

    Asked whether Armenia would listen to the appeal of the U.S.

    Department of State and others for finding another solution, the
    Armenian prime minister said, "the OSCE Minsk Group cochairmen have
    expressed their position, and the United States is one of them. What
    solution? Is it to keep Karabakh residents isolated from the rest of
    the world? That is absurd because we live in the 21st century. On
    the contrary. If we support a peace settlement, we should create
    normal living conditions for Karabakh instead of being aggressive
    and imposing a blockade. We must create a normal life for the people."

    U.S. Department of State spokesperson Victoria Nuland called on Armenia
    and Azerbaijan to find a diplomatic solution to the problem of the
    Stepanakert Airport in line with international agreements and laws
    pertaining to border issues and bilateral civil aviation practices.

    The OSCE Minsk Group cochairmen said in a joint statement in July
    2012 that the airport operation could not be used as a pretext for
    changing the Karabakh status and called on the sides to comply with
    international legal norms and existent practices of air traffic above
    their territories.

    The Stepanakert Airport was built in 1974. Civil aircraft stopped
    using it in the first half of the 1990s, when the Karabakh conflict
    broke out. Military aircraft were based at the airport in the years
    of hostilities (1991-1994).

    Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in March 2011 that he was going
    to take the first flight from Yerevan to Stepanakert. "I, the president
    of Armenia, will be the first passenger of that flight," he said.

    Azeri authorities argued that Armenian attempts to restart civil
    air traffic to and from Karabakh would be taken by Baku as an act of
    trespassing its air space.

    te jv

    From: Baghdasarian