"Armenia’s prosperity is possible only with Europe" – Greek Foreign Minister

Jan 10 2024
  • JAMnews
  • Yerevan

Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece

“Greece contributes to the strengthening of Armenia-EU relations and supports the EU presence in Armenia in the form of an observation mission [refers to EU civilian observers who patrol on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border],” Greek Foreign Minister Yorgos Gerapetritis said in Yerevan today.

He vowed that Greece, as one of the first states to become a member of the European Union, will work to strengthen the “institutional dialogue” between the EU and Armenia.

During the joint press conference, the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Armenia also answered journalists’ questions regarding the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and the possible signing of a peace agreement.

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Greek Foreign Minister Yorgos Gerapetritis said that his country can do a lot for the strengthening and development of Armenia-EU relations. He believes that the presence of the EU civilian observer mission on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan is certainly an important factor for the establishment of stability in the region, but other tools should also be used.

“It is very important to constantly emphasize Armenia’s European orientation. This is necessary not only for the sake of Armenia’s future, not only to contribute to the growth and stability of the people’s welfare, but also for the sake of Europe. Armenia is an important part of Europe.”

According to Gerapetritis, the well-being and prosperity of the Armenian people is possible only with Europe.

The Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that the country still has a long way to go to deepen relations with the EU. Concrete steps are already being discussed with the EU, including cooperation beyond the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.

“Despite all challenges, Armenia is actively pursuing democratic reforms. We are convinced that they, in turn, bring Armenia closer to the EU. This is a path on which we should take larger and more intensive steps. And, of course, with the assistance of Greece. Yerevan is really ready to develop these ties based on the protection of democracy and human rights,” Ararat Mirzoyan said.

Responding to the question of whether peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is possible, the Greek Foreign Minister said:

“My country believes that only three words are needed to solve any conflict: democracy, diplomacy and dialogue. And the use of force and aggression should be excluded.”

According to Gerapetritis, Armenia is taking necessary steps to achieve lasting peace.

In this regard, the Minister also touched upon the “Crossroads of Peace” project developed by the Armenian government. According to him, it implies “realistic, fair and stable” solutions to unblock regional transport.

“The peace process [between Armenia and Azerbaijan] should include concrete agreements. The delimitation of borders should be clear to avoid further atrocities and aggression,” the Greek foreign minister said.

Yerevan and Baku have been exchanging written proposals on the text of the peace treaty for a long time. On January 4, the Armenian side handed over another document to Azerbaijan and is again waiting for a reaction. The Secretary of the Armenian Security Council said that he sees both regression and progress in the previous Azerbaijani version of the preliminary text of the agreement.

In the opinion of the Armenian Foreign Minister, regardless of progress or regression on individual articles, the final version of the peace agreement should be based on the following principles:

  • mutual recognition of territorial integrity without ambiguities and reticence,
  • establishment of the order on the basis of which delimitation should be carried out in the future,
  • unblocking of transport on the basis of sovereignty, jurisdiction, equality and reciprocity.

“The Republic of Armenia cannot allow any uncertainty on these issues. Any uncertainty is a basis and fertile ground for further aggressions and escalations. The Armenian side strives for a peace that will be as difficult and practically impossible to question and violate as possible.”

Over the past 30 years, Armenia and Greece have developed strong partnership and friendly relations, Mirzoyan said, and now the moment has come to further advance the political dialogue, economic and security cooperation.

The Armenian Minister presented to Gerapetritis the details of the peace process and the new problems and challenges faced by the country, the situation after all Armenians left Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Greek Foreign Minister said that his country intends to provide “financial support to the IDPs so that they can pay their expenses.” He also talked about the preservation and protection of the cultural heritage of MK Armenians. In his opinion, it is necessary to send a UNESCO fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh, which will “reveal the damage that has been done to Armenian cultural monuments”.