YEREVAN, JUNE 6, ARMENPRESS. During last year’s OSCE ministerial conference in Stockholm, majority of the OSCE participating states, as well as high-ranking representatives of several international organizations have clearly emphasized the necessity of settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict through negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship format, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan said at the joint session of parliamentary standing committees, presenting the Foreign Ministry’s 2021 activity.
“In 2021 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked on fulfilling Armenia’s foreign policy guidelines and the government’s action plan, promoting the agenda of reforms and development, strengthening the partnership with international partners, aimed at protecting the state interests of Armenia, strengthening sovereignty and restoring territorial integrity, politically settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, ensuring the rights and security of the people of Artsakh and overcoming the humanitarian problems caused by the 44-day war. Of course, ensuring the security of Armenia and Artsakh, the political settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship and under its mandate remains the key priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy”, the FM said, assuring that this has directly affected the daily activity of the Foreign Ministry, including also the content and course of all the meetings of the Foreign Minister and other officials without exception.
He stated that in terms of the format of the discussions the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship format had a special importance for the Armenian side. After a 1-year pause, the meetings of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers at the mediation and participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs were held in New York in September 2021 and in Paris in November thanks to the position of the concerned states and the consistent work of the Armenian side. During those meetings the Armenian side highlighted its position on fully restoring the NK conflict’s peaceful settlement process in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. The necessity for de-escalation in the border and the solution of humanitarian problems, as well as the impermissibility of provocations and anti-Armenian rhetoric were emphasized.
Before the Paris meeting, the Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs also met in Minsk in October at the mediation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The next meeting was scheduled in December in Stockholm, on the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial conference, but several hours before the meeting the Azerbaijani side cancelled it.
“Before this meeting, the Co-Chairs presented to the sides a clear negotiating agenda during the separate meetings. It’s worth nothing that days before that, during the session of the OSCE permanent council in Vienna, the Co-Chairs have once again clearly mentioned their mandate. And in our opinion, these factors, in line with Azerbaijan’s overall attitude to the format and mandate of the Co-Chairmanship, were the main reasons of the cancellation of the Stockholm meeting. Nevertheless, during the annual OSCE ministerial conference in Stockholm, majority of the OSCE participating states, as well as the high-ranking representatives of a number of international organizations have clearly emphasized the necessity of settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict through negotiations in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship”, the FM said.