Armenia does not set the goal of confronting Azerbaijan in the Council of Europe

Lusine Vasilyan

Armenia will assume the presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on May 16 and will pass the chairmanship to Austria in November 2013.

During the 6-month presidency Armenia will prioritize three main directions – rule of law, democracy and human rights, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said during today’s parliamentary hearings. A more detailed plan of actions will be presented on May 16.

Won’t the Armenian presidency of the Committee of Ministers turn into a process of reacting to Azerbaijan’s attacks? Minister Nalbandian said Armenia will not be able to take unanimous decisions. Besides, our country does not set the goal of confronting Azerbaijan, he added.

”We have never pursued the aim of countering Azerbaijan either in the Council of Europe or in any other organization. We have properly addressed any provocative statements of Azerbaijan, but we have never set the goal of taking concrete steps and we are not going to do that during the CoE presidency,” Minister Nalbandian said.

Will Armenia’s chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers open new perspectives for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict? Edward Nalbandian reminded that the OSCE Minsk Group is the only format for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

Speaking about the PACE ad hoc commission on Nagorno Karabakh created in 2005, the Minister said it proved ineffective and its activity was ceased. “We are not about to launch any discussions on Nagorno Karabakh in any Council of Europe format,” Minister Nalbandian stated.

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