Selective approach in NATO declarations harms Karabakh settlement process: Armenian FM

Anna Nazaryan
Public Radio of Armenia

Austrian Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz has arrived in Yerevan for a two-day working visit at the invitation of Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

The two Ministers met in Yerevan today to discuss issues on bilateral agenda and refer to regional and international developments. The meeting was followed by a joint press conference.

NATO seemed to give preference to the principle of territorial integrity in the final declaration adopted as a result of the Summit in Wales. Commenting on this, Minister Nalbandian said: “NATO has stated on many occasions that it’s not engaged in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Furthermore, it has expressed support for the approaches and efforts of the co-chairing countries.

“Although two of the co-chairing countries are members of NATO, wording used in NATO declarations, including the one in Wales, express selective approach, which does not comply with the proposals made by the Co-Chairs, their ideas and approaches, the numerous statements and decisions adopted within the framework of the OSCE over the past years,” the Armenian Minister said. According to him, this certainly harms the negotiation process and affects the stability and security in the region.

“This encourages Azerbaijan to use its bellicose rhetoric to go against the international community’s approach towards the settlement of the issue,” he said, adding that “Selective approach to principles contradicts international law, the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act.”

Referring to the formulations used in the NATO declaration, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz noted that his country is not a member of NATO and voiced hope that ways of peaceful settlement would be found. He added that Austria was ready to support the political dialogue.

The Austrian journalists were particularly interested in whether Armenia’s European integration process could be considered completely dead.

Minister Nalbandian reminded that Armenia and EU adopted a joint statement at the Vilnius Summit, in which they expressed willingness to continue the comprehensive cooperation in all possible spheres and the efforts in that direction continue.

Talks on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Union are under way, and the results will be seen soon, Edward Nalbandian said.

“The Karabakh issue cannot be an obstacle for Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union,” he added.

Referring to Ukrainian developments, Minister Nalbandian noted that “Armenia welcomes the agreement on ceasefire” and voiced hope that the agreements would be called to life. “This will pave the way for finding solutions at the negotiating table,” he said.

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