Edward Nalbandian: Opening Of The Border Should Not Be Viewed As Doi


25.11.2008 14:52

On November 24 the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian,
paid a one-day visit to Istanbul as Foreign Minister of the country
chairing at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC).

The Armenian Foreign Minister visited BSEC Secretariat, where he had a
meeting with Secretary General Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos. During the
meeting reference was made to issues of improving the BSEC activity
and boosting economic cooperation between the member states.

Turning to the priorities of Armenian chairmanship, Edward Nalbandian
noted that the 600 events scheduled for the forthcoming six months
are targeted at improving the organization’s image and deepening of
cooperation between member states in different spheres.

Later Minister Nalbandian delivered a speech at the sitting of the BSEC
International Secretariat, member states of BSEC and observers and
representatives of their adjunct bodies and presented the priorities
of the Armenian chairmanship.

The Foreign Minster noted that Armenia has assumed BSEC chairmanship
at a period of the world financial crisis, various difficulties in
the economy of different states, and the member states should join
efforts to overcome those challenges.

Speaking about the priorities of Armenian chairmanship, Edward
Nalbandian emphasized the development of regional transport20
infrastructures as the main objective. Armenia’s priorities will
include the cooperation in the fields of energy, ecology and

Minister Nalbandian said also that Armenia attaches importance to
the deepening of BSEC-UN and BSEC-EU cooperation.

The sitting was followed by Minister Nalbandian’s press conference,
featuring representatives of more than 100 Turkish and international

In response to the question on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish
relations, Minister Nalbandian noted that the full normalization of
relations derives from the interests of the two countries and peoples,
and the ongoing dialogue between Armenia and Turkey is targeted at that
objective, i.e. establishment of diplomatic relations and opening of
the border, which should not be viewed as doing a favor to Armenia,
since Turkey is no less interested in it.

Minister Nalbandian later visited the Armenian Patriarchate of
Constantinople, where he had a meeting with Armenian Patriarch Mesrop
Archbishop Mutafyan. Minister Nalbandian met also with representatives
of the Armenian community.

The same day Minister Nalbandian had a meeting with his Turkish
counterpart Ali Babacan, following which Ali Babacan gave a dinner
in honor of Edward Nalbandian.

During the two-hour meeting the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Turkey
discussed issues related to the normalization of bilateral relations.

The Ministers exchanged views on the initiative of est ablishing a
Cooperation and Peace Platform in the Caucasus.

During the briefing that followed the meeting, Minister Nalbandian
and Ali Babacan said it was held in a constructive atmosphere. The
Ministers agreed to continue the efforts targeted at the normalization
of bilateral relations.

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