Foreign Ministers of Poland, Sweden and Bulgaria urge to refrain from escalating the situation in Karabakh

Anna Nazaryan

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian received today the Foreign Ministers of Poland, Sweden and Bulgaria Radoslav Sikorsky, Carl Bildt and Nikolay Mladenov.

During the meeting reference was made to the broad Armenia-EU cooperation agenda and stressed good progress in a number of directions.

The parties stressed the importance of the efforts towards completing the negotiations on the Association Agreement, including the creation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, before the Eastern Partnership summit in November 2013.

Minister Nalbandian reiterated the willingness of Armenia to continue the implementation of large-scale reforms in compliance with European standards.

The interlocutors discussed a number of regional and international issues and exchanged views on the situation in Syria. Minister Nalbandian briefed the counterparts on the latest developments in the process of settlement of the Karabakh conflict, the efforts Armenia and the international community make in that direction.

The Foreign Ministers of Poland, Sweden and Bulgaria prioritized the successful conduct of the forthcoming presidential elections. Radoslav Sikorsky said the elections should be organized so as to exclude any opportunity for accusation.

“We’ll follow the elections to register considerable progress as compared to the previous ones,” Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov said.

The Foreign Ministers of all three countries agree that it’s necessary to refrain from actions that will aggravate the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone. “We’ve recently witnessed escalation of the situation at the line of contact and we urge the parties to refrain from creating extra tension,” the Bulgarian Foreign Minister said.

A five-sided statement was to be adopted at the 19th Ministerial Council meeting in Dublin on December 6. Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said it did not happen because of the Azerbaijani side.

“This time Azerbaijanis did not want the three famous principles of non use of force or the threat of force, the right of nations to self-determination and territorial integrity to be mentioned in the statement. What did they reach in the end? No five-sided statement was adopted, but the heads of delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries mentioned the principles in their statement,” Minister Nalbandian said, adding that “the statement is acceptable to the Armenian side, and we could have issued the same statement.”

The Foreign Ministers of Poland, Sweden and Bulgaria have arrived in the region to discuss the progress achieved towards implementation of the goals that lie in the basis of the Eastern Partnership Program.  They will sum up the results of the visits to the South Caucasian countries before the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in 2013.

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