News | 29.10.12 | 11:24

Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandyan , Elmar Mammadyarov and MG
co-chairs met on Saturday in Paris.

News related to recognition of Nagorno Karabakh and conflict settlement
dominated local weekend news as the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign
ministers met in Paris.

Ministers Edward Nalbandyan and Elmar Mammadyarov met in France's
capital on Saturday for the first time after the scandal sparked
by Ramil Safarov's extradition to Baku last August. The Azerbaijani
army officer was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Budapest court
after killing an Armenian officer, Gurgen Margaryan, while attending
NATO's Partnership for Peace lessons in Hungary, in 2004. In August
he was extradited to Azerbaijan and immediately pardoned, sparking
international outrage.

The foreign ministers who held meeting in the presence of the OSCE
Minsk Group co-chairs expressed the necessity on lowering the tensions
between the countries and agreed on resuming talks during the Minsk's
Group's regional visit in November.

Meanwhile in Karabakh, the National Assembly has sent a message to
the upper house of the Parliament of the Australian State of New South
Wales, expressing the gratitude about the adoption of the resolution
recognizing the right of people of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic
for self-determination. "We are confident that the international
recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic will play an important and
decisive role in the process of settlement of the Karabakh conflict,
will contribute to the establishment of lasting peace and stability
in the region," says the message.

In Yerevan, a spokesperson of the ruling Republican Party Edward
Sharmazanov drew parallels between Karabakh and another landlocked
country, alluding to the signing of a document on establishing
diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and South Sudan, the country
which proclaimed independence last year. Sharmazanov said that by that
move Azerbaijan has paved way for the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"By signing the document, Azerbaijan affirmed that the race
for people's right to self-determination continues around the
world. This action is promoting the recognition of NKR independence
on the international level, because by this step Azerbaijan accepts
that there is no other option for NKR recognition", noted Armenia's
National Assembly Vice Chairman.

Speaking on Karabakh's steps toward recognition, ex-foreign minister
of the NKR Arman Melikyan at Saturday's press conference in Yerevan
said that the implementation of the EU-funded programs in NKR "is the
first step on the hard road of recognition of the NKR's independence
by the EU". He welcomed the launch by the European Union of a second
phase of civil society program in Karabakh, aimed at supporting the
peace-building efforts concerning the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Partnership for the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over
Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK) program, a consortium of five European NGOs
which will last three years is a continuation of a program launched
in 2009.

In Karabakh, NKR Defense Minister, Movses Hakobyan told media that
Official Baku keeps impeding inquiries into incidents on the line
of contact of the NKR and Azerbaijan armed forces. The minister said
that Karabakh has repeatedly expressed readiness to develop and apply
certain mechanisms to inquire into shootings on the front line at the
request of the OSCE Minsk Group co- chairs. NKR Defense Army reported,
that between October 21-27, 250 cases of ceasefire violation with about
1200 shots by the Azerbaijani side were registered at the contact line.

Member of Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaksutyun, MP Armen
Rustamyan welcomes the fact, that Armenian authorities are revising
their position on Nagorno-Karabakh and once again reaffirmed the
Dashnaks's position, that Armenian authorities must not separate
the Nagorno-Karabakh problem from the rest of Hay-Dat agenda. "Serzh
Sargsyan's recent interview to Italy's Quotidiano Nazionale, where
he said that the world community applies double standards to the
Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian Genocide issues proves that the Armenian
authorities are reconsidering their policy. But words are not enough
- they must act to satisfy the fair claims of the Armenian nation,"
Rustamyan said.

Meanwhile, Russian military base in Armenia reports it is going to
replace about 3,000 servicemen in a scheduled rotation. In a Friday
statement, the Southern Military District reported that the first
group of about 150 conscript servicemen, among them soldiers and
sergeants who have undergone training as snipers, mechanics, sight
gunners, grenade throwers and reconnaissance officers, have arrived
in Yerevan to replace servicemen sent to the reserve. The rotation
will last until the end of November when the regular training period
begins. The military base's numerical strength will remain the same.

Compiled by reporter Julia Hakobyan, gathered from local online outlets

From: Baghdasarian