The Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, participated in the 120th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Delegations from he 47 Council of Europe member states, five observer countries and international organizations participated in the sitting.
The issues on agenda included the reforms in the Council of Europe, the cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Union, raising of the efficiency of the activity of the European Court of Human Rights, etc.
In his speech Minister Nalbandian expressed Armenia's support for the reforms under way in the Council of Europe, noting that “Armenia will continue to actively participate in the organization's activity.“ The Minister informed about the preparation of the forum on democratic future to be held in Armenia in October under the patronage of the Council of Europe.
Touching upon the settlement of the Karabakh issue, Edward Nalbandian said: “The the statement on Nagorno Karabakh adopted by the OSCE Foreign Ministers in Athens emphasizes the non-use of force or the threat of force, the right of peoples to self-determination and territorial integration as basic principles of conflict settlement. The same principles lie in the basis of the Madrid Principles proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in 2007. For over a year Azerbaijan was rejecting the existence of that document, until they announced recently that they accept the proposals with certain reservations. If we try to clarify what Azerbaijan agrees to and what it rejects, we'll see that there are a lot of exceptions. Azerbaijan not only continues distorting the reasons, consequences and the essense of the conflict, but also uses every opportunity to come forth with a threat of force on all levels.
Proceeding from the experience of the past years, it becomes obvious that all Azerbaijani efforts to transfer the issue to other structures and thus affect the negotiations under way within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group are unconstructive. Despite all the obstacles Azerbaijan creates on the way of resolution of the conflict, Armenia is resolute to uphold the efforts towards settlement of the conflict through negotiations.”
Turning to the Armenian-Turkish relations, Edward Nalbandian said: “It was the initiative of the Armenian President to normalize relations with Turkey. Notwithstanding the difficulties, we started the process with the mediation of Switzerland, we held talks and signed the protocols with a mutual understanding that there could be no preconditions in the process. This position is shared by mediating and supporting states and the international community, as a whole.
After the protocols were signed, Turkey returned to the language of preconditions, it had been using before the start of the process and actually stopped the process of ratification of the protocols in the Turkish Parliament. That is why the Armenian President decided to suspend the ratification process in Armenia until Ankara is again ready to continue the process without preconditions. This decision was welcomed by the international community," Minister Nalbandian concluded.
Public Radio of Armenia