Thank you. But No thank you! Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandian tells European institutions they have no mandate to discuss the Karabakh conflict.
31 May 2013

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has snubbed attempts by European structures to get involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process and has reminded them that they have no mandate to do so.

The Armenian news portal reported that speaking at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe being held in Yerevan, Nalbandian thanked the European institutions for their interest and assistance to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict but reminded his guests that the conflict has not been formally discussed in the Council or Europe, or in the Committee of Ministers."These structures have no mandate, but we are grateful for their interest and the interest of other international organizations to the OSCE Minsk Group activities aimed at finding a peaceful settlement on the basis of the proposals made by co-chairs and other member states of the organization. This format is very important and effective," he said.

Edward Nalbandian recalled that a number of declarations on the level of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group and OSCE Ministerial Council were adopted on Karabakh: "There is no other conflict in the world which would be raised to such a high political level." Minister Nalbandian reiterated that Armenia welcomes and supports the mentioned statements and is ready to participate in the settlement of the conflict based on these statements. Foreign Minister said that the Armenian side has never demanded that the international community must support their positions exclusively.

"We expect the support of the international community which is expressed in statements. Such a support can help in finding a peaceful settlement. A similar approach Armenia expects from Azerbaijan," he said.

Asked about the extent of compromise, Minister Nalbandian said that Yerevan's position is fully consonant with the position of the international community. The Minister stressed Armenia's readiness for confidence-building measures."Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are committed to maintaining the ceasefire, creation of mechanisms to investigate incidents, and withdrawal of snipers. Azerbaijan rejects all such approaches," quotes the Minister as saying. political editor said in a comment:

"For a long time Armenia has indicated that it is comfortable with the format of the OSCE Minsk Process as the mechanism for resolving the Karabakh conflict. Over the last few months however Armenian politicians and diplomats seems to be taking the issue one step further, insisting that discussions of the Karabakh conflict can only take place in the format of the OSCE Minsk Process. It has for example refused to participate in the meetings of an ad-hoc committee of PACE that was established to look at the issue. This new Armenian approach is not sustainable, and may even be counter productive. It increases perceptiuon that the Minsk process is biased towards Armenia, and perhaps even worse, given that the process has not yielded any results in the twenty years that it has been established, it increases the perceptiion that Armenia is happy with a process that is stalled.

Some observers of the negotiations attribute some blame to the diplomats of the three OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, since they have allowed a situation whereby both sides now give diametrically opposed versions of why the negotiations are stalled. The Minsk Group silence and secrecy is therefore now adding to an already complex and difficult situation."


source: with

photo: Foreign Minister Nalbandian addressing the PACE Standing Committee in Yerevan on 31 May 2013 (picture courtesy of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)