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Interviews, articles and comments

The address and answers of the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian and Luis Almagro, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay during the joint press conference


Good afternoon.

I am pleased to welcome my counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay Luis Almagro who is in Armenian on an official visit.

Armenia and Uruguay are thousands of kilometers away, but Uruguay is very close and friendly country for Armenia and the Armenian people. Uruguay is the first country which recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1965 and it’s not accidental that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay started his official visit to Armenia by visiting the Genocide Memorial. We are very grateful to the people of Uruguay and the Uruguayan leadership for the opening of their doors and providing shelters to our compatriots - the survivors of the genocide, and thousands of Armenians live in Uruguay, for whom Uruguay has become a second homeland. We have very close and warm relations with Uruguay. On May 27 of this year we are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Uruguay is one of the first countries, that recognized our independent Republic, on December 26 of 1991.

Today we had an opportunity to touch upon a wide range of issues of bilateral relations, the steps to be undertaken towards the strengthening of legal framework. We have 8 agreements signed between the two countries, and the drafts of new agreements were exchanged and we are going to expand this framework. We talked about the steps to be undertaken towards the development of trade and economic relations between the two countries, cultural ties and cooperation in the spheres of health and tourism. We touched upon regional and international issues over which we have very close positions. We agreed upon the more intensification of the cooperation in the international organizations and holding of consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries.

It is natural that we also touched upon the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. I presented my colleague the recent developments in the negotiation process. We have similar approach that the issue should be resolved through peaceful means, based on the proposals made by the Co-Chairs. We are grateful to the Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs for his statements on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

I would like once again to welcome my Uruguayan colleague and pass the floor to him with great pleasure.

Question: My questions are addressed to both Foreign Ministers. Minister Nalbandian Azerbaijan assumed the presidency of the Security Council. Some Azeri analysts do not exclude the possibility that the resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue might be submitted to the Security Council. To what extent do you consider it possible?

Edward Nalbandian: Answering the first question about the possibility that Azerbaijan will try to introduce a resolution at the Security Council, I would like to say that Azerbaijan may try to do, but we must be realistic in the sense that the permanent members of the UN Security Council are co-chairing countries, Russia, the United States and France, which have repeatedly stated that the format of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. The Presidents of Russia, the United States and France made statements in L’Aquila, Muskoka and Deauville, and Armenia expressed its commitment to move forward towards the settlement through the negotiations based on those proposals.

Azerbaijan is denying. I don’t think that it is realistic; that any unilateral Azeri initiative would be supported at the Security Council, especially taking into account that position of the Co-Chairs.

Question: First my question is addressed to the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Nalbandian, in the context of the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, recently Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that it is hard to reach an agreement with several neighboring countries, sepcifically with Armenia. Please comment, in reality what kind of problems does official Yerevan cause in this issue?

And the second question, if it’s possible to address the two Foreign Ministers. Recently there were several cases of violation of the cease-fire, in particular related to shooting at civilian population. What is the reaction of the international community to such kind of phenomena, and Minister Nalbandian, what does Armenian side do to voice this issue?

Edward Nalbandian: Regarding Davutoglu's statement, I am familiar with that statement. The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs talks that Turkey has not good relations with their three neighboring countries. But I do not think it is so sincere: it is at least twice the number of countries, i. e. six countries, with which Turkey has not good relations, with two of which she no relations at all. Davutoglu stated about Turkey’s willingness to have zero problem relations with its neighbors, but the result was the recent increase of the problems with those countries. Regarding the difficulties of reaching agreements with the neighbors about which Mr. Davutoglu mentioned, I would say that, yes, we know from our experience that it's very difficult to reach agreements with Turkey. And despite all the difficulties which the Turkish side was bringing in the course of the negotiations, we came to an agreement and signed the protocols, for which Turkey created difficulties not only during the negotiations, but even after the signing, and continues to create them, rejects to respect, ratify and implement those agreements. So the comments made by Mr. Davutoglu are not appropriate.

Edward Nalbandian: (In addition to Luis Almagro’s answer) Luis Almagron’s statement is another good example of the international community's approach. The overwhelming majority of countries, if not all, have such an approach. Maybe in addition to Azerbaijan, Turkey do not share that approach. But even that country talked against the use of force, thus disagreeing with the Azeri approach.
I will recall the approach of the international community at the highest level, when Presidents Medvedev, Obama and Sarkozy stated that the use of force created this situation and a new use of force is unacceptable and would be strongly condemned by the international community. The message was addressed to Azerbaijan.
The reaction is voiced not only through the statements. During the negotiations Azerbaijan is seriously warned about such behavior, that this behavior is unacceptable and can cause serious consequences, and first of all for Azerbaijan.

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