Margarian meets OSCE Chairman-in-office

March 17 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 17, ARMENPRESS: Armenian prime minister Andranik
Margarian met today with the visiting chairman-in-office of the OSCE,
Bulgarian foreign minister Solomon Passy, who has arrived in Armenia
after visiting neighboring Georgia and Azerbaijan. The goal of the
visit is to get first-hand information about South Caucasian problems
and the latest developments concerning regulation of the region’s
The prime minister expressed hope that the visit will have a
positive impact on the resolution of the conflicts promoting
establishment pf peace and stability and reiterated that Armenia’s
foreign policy is aimed at closer integration with Europe, recalling
that Armenia joined OSCE in 1992. Relations between Armenia and OSCE,
according to Margarian are important first of all with regard to
efforts aimed to help the conflicting sides resolve their dispute
over Nagorno Karabagh.
He underlined that Armenia stands for continuation of the
disrupted negotiations process finding that jointly implemented
projects, not only together with Azerbaijan, but also with Turkey,
without preconditions would significantly raise chances for a
peaceful solution through building confidence measures. “The sooner
our problems with Azerbaijan and Turkey are resolved the better for
all sides, as we are neighbors and are doomed to live side by side,”
he said, but added that Turkey is not prepared now to accept this
‘clear realities,” and therefore Armenia is against Turkey taking up
in 2007 the chairmanship over the OSCE. “Our position in this regard
may change only after Turkey establishes full diplomatic relations
with Armenia and opens its borders,” he said.
Margarian also said that Armenia was disappointed with the OSCE
chairman-in-office’s failure to condemn the brutal murder of an
Armenian officer in Budapest by an Azeri classmate. According to
Margarian, such a step would have been appropriate having in mind the
demeanor of Azeri authorities seeking to justify the crime.
The prime minister also praised the OSCE Yerevan office for its
productive cooperation with Armenian authorities, singling out its
assistance in helping draft a series of legislations.
Solomon Passy in turn said his conclusion was that a dialogue,
joint discussions are the best way for resolving all exiting
problems. He also welcomed Armenia’s position to start cooperation
with its neighbors without preconditions pledging also his support.
Later in the day Solomon Passy was received by foreign minister
Vartan Oskanian.