On 29th-30th November the 15th Summit of International Organization of Francophonie was held in Dakar. The event was attended by high-level delegations from 80 members, associated and observer states of the Organization, led by Heads of states and governments, Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian represented Armenia at Summit.
The Summit confirmed the unanimous decision of the Foreign Ministers’ Conference of International Organization of Francophonie to approve the proposal of holding the 2015 Ministerial Conference of Francophonie in Armenia.
Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian delivered a speech at the Summit, touching upon the active role by Armenia in the francophone family, OIF activities, Organization agenda issues, pressing issues faced by the international community.
Presenting to the Heads of states of Francophonie the efforts exerted by Armenia and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs towards peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the situation created as a result of the provocative acts undertaken by Azerbaijan, Edward Nalbandian particularly said:
“Regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, I would like to share with you our deep concern over the current situation in the region created as a result of the provocation and gross violation of cease-fire regime by Azerbaijan.
During the last three months the Co-Chair countries, the President of Russia in Sochi, the Secretary of State of the USA in Newport, and the President of France in Paris, with participation of the Heads of States of Armenia and Azerbaijan, organized Summit meetings aimed first at reducing the tensions and preventing further escalation of the situation.
Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani leadership refused to fulfill its commitments taken during high-level meetings – to settle this issue exceptionally through peaceful means and resorted to criminal provocations to further escalate the situation.
The shooting down by the Azerbaijani armed forces of the helicopter of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army during a training flight took the lives of three young servicemen. Azerbaijan, grossly violating international humanitarian law, for almost ten days continuously kept the area of the helicopter shooting under intensive fire, hindering rescue teams, representatives of the international organizations – the OSCE, International Committee of the Red Cross – to evacuate the bodies of killed crew members, rejecting the respective appeal of the OSCE MG Co-Chairs. Under these circumstances the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army had to undertake a special operation to evacuate the remains of the crew members.
Despite the efforts exerted by Azerbaijan towards undermining the negotiation process, together with the international community Armenia will continue the joint efforts towards exceptionally peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This is a commitment I would like to reaffirm here.
The current situation requires the reaffirmation of our Organization’s commitment to fully support the efforts exerted by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs towards a peaceful resolution of this conflict and urge to refrain from threat or use of force and accept the Principles proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, made as an integrated whole,as a basis for negotiations, particularly the principles of non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples as a foundation for a lasting settlement of the conflict.”
Minister Nalbandian offered gratitude to the member-states of the Organization for the expressed confidence to hold the 2015 Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of International Organization of Francophonie in Armenia and assured that no effort will be spared to organize the conference on high level in Yerevan.