“Azerbaijan’s approach on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict contradicts not only that of Armenia, but also the Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told a press conference today.
Summing up the activities of the past year, Minister Nalbandian said “Armenia, in cooperation with the OSCE Minsk Group, maintained efforts towards the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.” At the same time, he blamed Azerbaijan for the frequent violations of the ceasefire regime and the use of heavy weapons.
The Minister added that the two anti-Armenian reports considered by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe a few days ago come to prove Azerbaijan’s non-constructive policy.
“It was an attempt by Azerbaijan to take the Karabakh issue from the Minsk Group format to a different platform, thus causing damage to the settlement process. This is not the first time Azerbaijan is trying to use the PACE podium for taking the issue into a different direction,” Minister Nalbandian said.
Minsiter Nalbandian said the Iran deal was the most significant achievement in international relations in 2015. “The lifting of sanctions against Iran will boost the development of Armenian-Iranian relations,” he said.
As for the willingness of Iran to assume a mediating role in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Minister Nalbandian noted that “the lack of progress in the talks is not because of “bad” mediators, but because of lack of will on the part of Azerbaijan.”
Relations with Russia are a key element in the foreign policy of Armenia, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said.
“Strengthening the allied, strategic partnership with Russia is high on Armenia’s foreign policy agenda,” he said. Nalbandian recalled that in 2015 the Presidents of the two countries had held about a dozen meetings in the bilateral and multilateral formats.
Minister Nalbandian reminded that during a dozen of meetings last year the Presidents of the two countries reached a number of agreements of strategic importance in the political, military and technical, science and education, cultural and other areas.
The Minister added that the membership in the Eurasian Economic Union as of January 2014 “stemmed from Armenia’s strategic interests” and “opened up new opportunities for the country’s economic development.” Besides, Armenia assumed the chairmanship of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in September 2015. The country “continues to act as an initiator and active participant in this association,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.