James Steinberge: "Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation Process To Advanc


Noyan Tapan
July 13, 2009

YEREVAN, JULY 13, NOYAN TAPAN. The United States of America has
always said that the Armenian-Turkish reconciliation process must
advance irrespecetive of any other process, independently. U.S. Deputy
Secretary of State James Steiberge mentioned it at the press conference
held at the end of the July 10 meeting with President of Armenia
Serge Sargsian in Yerevan. "We are sure that the parties will move in
that direction as well, as it is driven by both parties’ interets to
advance in that direction, we will encourage that the process advances
independently, of course, we will welcome the parallel progress in
the Nagorno Karabakh settlement," he said.

In the high-ranking official’s words, the U.S. appreciates efforts
of Armenia to advance in the process having a historic meaning and
welcomes the steps which were taken to open a new chapter in the
history of the region.

Steiberge mentioned that there is a considerable progress in the
Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement within the framework of the OSCE
Minsk Group: "We impatiently wait for further steps in that direction,
particularly for the coming meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and
Aerbaijan in Moscow."

The American delegation, before coming to Yerevan, met with
President Aliyev in Baku: "Both parties have great desire to find
a joint solution based on Madrid principles, statement of the OSCE
Minsk Group Co-Chairpersons and three Chairmen of the co-chairing
countries to fix a progress at Moscow meeting. We feel that there
is resoluteness to continue the progress, there is a constructive
approach," J. Steinberge said.

The American diplomate also welcame the Armenian authorities’
statement on the irreversible character of the process of deepening
the democratic reforms in Armenia. The U.S. also welcomes the Armenian
authorities’ decision to announce amnesty and encourages to countinue
that process. The U.S. is ready to assist the process of deepening
the democratic reforms, economic development of Armenia, realizing
that challenges of the time make the state of developing countries
like Armenia especially difficult.

Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian in his turn mentioned
that the United States, as one of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing
countries, has serious contribution in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict
settlement. "We welcome the constructive efforts of the U.S. and
other co-chairing countries in the process of outcome of this pivotal
problem," he said. He mentioned that it was mentioned at the meeting
with the RA President that Armenia will continue making efforts
in the direction of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh
conflict, based on self-determination of nations, the territorial
integrity and principles of non-use of force or non-use of threat of
force. It was mentioned relating to the Armenian-Turkish relations
that Armenia is ready to regulate relations and open the borders
without any preconditions: "We wait for practical steps by Turkey,"
E. Nalbandian said.

It was fixed at the meeting that the Armenian-American relations passed
an important way of development but there is a serious potential and
bilateral readiness for widening them, and "we shall take practical
steps in that direction," the Minister said. Different spheres of
the agenda on the Armenian-American relations, this is the political
dialogue, economic cooperation, programs of the United States of
America on assisting development of Armenia and their widening,
were touched upon during the meeting.

The Armenian Foreign Minister appreciated the OSCE Minsk Group U.S.,
French and Russian Chairpersons’ statement addressed to the co-chairing
countries, it is an additional assistance to the parties to make the
positions closer.

In his words, it is important that "what has been spoken about by
Armenia for a long time is unequivocally said here: the Karabakh status
must be defined by expression of the Karabakh people’s will which
must have a legal obliging power. It is important that uninterrupted
land communication between Armenia and Karabakh is spoken about,
it is important that security guarantees are spoken about. Those are
the important elements about which Armenia many times stated as the
most important basis for the Nagorno Karabakh problem settlement,"
Edward Nalbandian said.

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