Aravot, Armenia
Feb 10 2009

OSCE official, Armenian politicians cautiously optimistic on conflict

"There are leaders in the region, Serzh Sargsyan has said in Munich,
and Goran Lennmarker has said in Yerevan that now is the time to find

Speaking at the Munich forum on security issues, Armenian President
Serzh Sargsyan said that lessons should be learnt from the past to
stop militarization and further deepening of the dividing lines in the
South Caucasus region. "We have to do so because labels and
stereotypes have always been used for South Caucasus that should be
wiped out for a peaceful and stable future of our countries. I think
there are leaders in the region today ready for non-standard solutions
and who can take decisions beyond clichés and show enough political
will for implementing them. This makes me optimistic for our region,"
Sargsyan said.

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly special representative Goran Lennmarker,
following his meeting with National Assembly [parliament] speaker
Hovik Abrahamyan, said in Yerevan yesterday that now is the time for
finding solutions to the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. The high-ranking
OSCE official [Lennmarker] also said the goal of his visit to Yerevan
"is to discuss the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict settlement as well as
regional cooperation with the Armenian authorities and the opposition
on the settlement."

Armen Rustamyan, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on
foreign relations, told Aravot after his meeting with Lennmarker:
"Lennmarker is a key person because he is well aware what is going on
in the region, especially in the Nagornyy Karabakh settlement
issue. His views are important not only in terms of the conflict
settlement but also because they have impact on the European Union
decision. I tried to present our approaches as detailed as I could. He
is interested in new developments, with the emphasize on the fact that
following the Russian-Georgian war, a new situation has emerged, and
that this new situation calls for new priorities that should be taken
into account. The thing is that how this new situation affects the
Karabakh issue."

[Passage omitted: Rustamyan says it is clear that the conflict has no
military solution, praises the declaration signed by the Armenian,
Russian and Azerbaijani presidents in Moscow on the Karabakh conflict

Rustamyan also said that [during the meeting with Lennmarker] they
also spoke about Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's foreign policies,
and a positive thing is that "there is an attempt of not linking the
Karabakh conflict settlement to the normalization of the
Armenian-Turkish relations and solve these two issues separately. This
is a new approach, unseen until now." Rustamyan also said that they
spoke about the growing role of the European Union in our region and
especially in Armenia.

[Passage omitted: Armenia should not miss the chance of being involved
in regional project]

Lennmarker met the representative of the parliamentary opposition -
Armen Martirosyan, the leader of the Heritage party faction in
parliament, and Larisa Alaverdyan, the secretary of the
faction. Following the meeting, Martirosyan told us that Lennmarker
had expressed his optimism on the Karabakh conflict settlement, hoping
that the issue would be settled soon through peaceful means.