18:05, 27 February, 2013

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 27, ARMENPRESS: Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Armenian Republic Edward Nalbandian has given an exclusive interview
to the Austrian news agency. Armenpress reports the full interview.

-Mr. Minister, efforts aimed at establishment of peace between Armenia
and Azerbaijan made during years have been in vain. How one can reach
a result in those negotiations?

-Azerbaijan refuses all suggestions of Minsk group Co-Chairs, Russia,
USA and France regarding the peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict. It refuses even initiations aimed at trust strengthening,
including strengthening of ceasefire, withdrawal of snipers and
creation of investigation mechanism on the violation of ceasefire.

They have an illusion that with the help of revenues from petrol
and gas they can buy everything: friends on international arena and
beneficial resolutions for them. Why the settlement process hasn't
succeeded till now. Because international community and Azerbaijan
speak different languages. While we have gathered in Vienna to promote
the dialogue between civilizations, civilizational abyss between
Azerbaijan and international community is deepening. Higher officials
of Azerbaijan propagate intolerance, hatred, war and proclaim racist
murderers as heroes. And what about supporters of peace and solidarity,
like in Akram Ailisli's case, they threaten to cut off his ear.

-Doesn't NKR issue in some point depend on such regional country as
Turkey, which has a partial position regarding the conflict?

-It does, Turkey is unilaterally advocating Azerbaijan. And naturally
it cannot have the role of mediator in this process. If Turkey has
a willing to promote peaceful settlement, it would be better, not
to intervene in this process at all. The reason that the peaceful
settlement hasn't been reached till now is the destructive policy of
Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani side believes that use of force, military
resolution may be a possible option. Though, of course, war is not
a resolution and there is no other option but negotiating process.

-It seemed there was a tendency for the settlement of Armenian-Turkish
relations in 2009. Appropriate protocols haven't been ratified by
Ankara. What was the reason of the failure?

-We reached an agreement. Armenian-Turkish protocols were signed in
Zurich, nevertheless, Turkish side refused to ratify and implement
those agreements. Actually, Turkey refuses the most important pacta
sund servant principle of international relations, that agreements
have to be respected. Positions of Armenia and international community
are the same-Turkey should respect agreements, ratify and implement
protocols without any preconditions.

-Why are You demanding Turkey to recognize Armenian Genocide committed
about 100 years ago?

-In this issue we are responsible to humanity, in order not to prevent
repetitions of new genocides, crimes against humanity. Genocides must
be recognized, condemned, their denial must not be tolerated. This
is the way. This is not only the issue of Armenian nation, but of
the all humankind. This is an issue of respect for fundamental human
rights and international law.

-Austria hasn't qualified those Turkish actions as Genocide till
nowadays. Are you disappointed?

-We hope that Austria, as well as other countries of Europe and world
will recognize it.

-What about the progress over negotiations on Association Agreement
with the European Union?

-We have recorded a visible progress over negotiation on Association
Agreement, including negotiations on establishment of deep and
comprehensive free trade zone. We hope to complete negotiations
till Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November. We signed
visa facilitation regime agreement with EU on December, so that EU
citizens may visit Armenia without visa.

-According to evaluations of OSCE observers, presidential elections
of Armenia, held on February, were generally free and fair. Though
observers have pointed out some shortcomings mainly the issue of
separation of state institutions and the ruling party.

-You are right; observers have given positive evaluations to the
elections. They were unanimous that elections were an important step
forward. Suggestions on improvements of election process were also
made. We will attentively examine the proposals and will initiate
all needed steps in order to implement appropriate reforms aimed at
the improvement of electoral system.

Important reforms have been implemented in Armenia recently,
in a result of which, our country has leading positions in some
international rankings, including freedom of press, business
environment and other spheres. We are determined to continue the
reform process.

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