I am pleased to welcome the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore. Regardless of the geographical distance between our countries, centuries-old deep relations were established between our peoples.
Armenia gives importance to the development, fostering and enlargement of relations with Ireland.
We had a very fruitful meeting with Mr. Gilmore last year in Dublin and we used the opportunity of this visit to discuss a wide range of topics concerning bilateral relations, regional and international issues.
During the elections for the OSCE presidency, Armenia supported Ireland’s candidacy and I reaffirmed that Armenia will support all those steps which the Irish chairmanship will initiate to make the OSCE a more efficient and vibrant organisation.
We discussed the cooperation of Armenia with the OSCE in the organisation’s three levels of activities.
We discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, as one of the key issues on the agenda of Ireland’s Chairmanship is related to the strengthening of peace and stability in the South Caucasus, which is undoubtedly very important for our country.
I presented Mr. Gilmore the recent developments in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. We share the opinion that there is no alternative to peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. In this respect, Armenia’s position is line with that of the international community reflected in the statements of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries’ Presidents in L’Aquila in 2009, in Muskoka in 2010 and in Deauville in 2011.
Today we will have an opportunity to continue our discussions on other issues as well.
Thank you very much, and please Mr. Gilmor, the floor I yours.
Armnews TV: Mr. Nalbandian, recently the Turkish Foreign Minister made a statement where he expressed his concerns about the loss of Azeri soldiers, and he added also that despite the efforts exerted by the OSCE Minsk Group, the Armenian side is not yet reacting. How would you comment that statement? Thank you.
Edward Nalbandian: The statement of the Turkish Foreign Minister, according to which he mourns the loss of only the Azeri servicemen as a result of the latest incidents, sounds racist. We have never heard him being concerned about the killings of Armenian soldiers as a result of subversive acts from the Azeri side. While the international community strongly condemns the bloody incidents, and it is evident by whom those actions were masterminded, and urges the sides to refrain from the use of force, these sort of Turkish statements in fact encourage Azerbaijanis’ new subversive acts.
While Azerbaijan is not only not reacting, but is continuously rejecting the Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ proposals on the withdrawal of snipers from the line of contact, the consolidation of ceasefire, the creation of investigation mechanisms of the violations of ceasefire, the Turkish side is attempting to shift this responsibility of the Azerbaijani side on the others. The Turkish side is pretending as if it is unaware whether of whose fault a progress was not made in Kazan on reaching an agreement of the basic principles.
20 years ago Armenia did not oppose Turkey’s inclusion as a member of the Minsk Group, because some countries expected that Turkey would be unbiased and would have its input in the peaceful settlement of the conflict. The passing 20 years showed that Turkey is not only non-neutral, but through its stance harms the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process. A question arises: is Turkey’s such behavior compatible with its being a member of the Minsk Group?
Armenpress News Agency: I have a question for Mr. Gilmore. Mr. Gilmore, the incidents on the line of contact and on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan got intensified after Azerbaijan, albeit through use of blackmail, succeeded in failing the creation of investigation mechanisms for ceasefire violations on the line of contact. Is Ireland, during its Chairmanship in the OSCE, undertaking a commitment to do everything possible so that those investigation mechanisms were created?
Will Ireland push to the end in this issue, despite Azerbaijan’s blackmailing?
Edward Nalbandian: I would like to add, that Armenia has been and is for the creation of the mechanisms of investigation and, unlike Azerbaijan, when we agree on something, we do not backtrack on the following day.
I should recall that corresponding elements of the establishment of mechanisms are included in the relevant statements made by the Presidents of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan in March 2011 and January 2012 in Sochi. We respect those agreements and we are for the creation of this mechanism.