Anna Nazaryan

30.08.2011 18:09

Consultations of representatives of the central apparatus of the
Ministry of Foreign affairs and the heads of Armenia's diplomatic
missions abroad took place at the Sport and Concert Complex after
Karen Demirchyan today.

"During the short period of independence we have passed the test of
time, have resisted a number of pressures and challenges," President
Serzh Sargsyan said in his opening remarks.

"Yes, we have overcome those pressures and challenges without
jeopardizing our independence and security, our sovereignty and
achievements. Furthermore, we have come out of those difficulties
stronger. We are a reliable partner, our world and deeds never differ,
we never try to lay the responsibility of solving international and
regional issues on others," Serzh Sargsyan said, adding that there
are still a number of issues that need to be solved. "I'm confident
that our diplomacy will finally succeed," the said.

President Sargsyan particularly dwelt on the Karabakh issue and the
suspended Armenian-Turkish process. Speaking about the Karabakh issue,
he recalled the example of Southern Sudan.

"This year we witnessed saw Southern Sudan gain independence after
decades of struggle, enriching the world experience of realization
of the right of peoples to self-determination," the President said,
adding that a similar outcome was inevitable in case of Artsakh,
although it's hard to speak about the softening of Azerbaijan's
position in the negotiation process today.

"When we say that the approaches of the international community on
the Karabakh issue overlap with the official position of Armenia,
it's not a propagandistic trick. Thanks to our clear-ct position and
our willingness to take up responsibility, the international community
has come to accept that our approaches are more realistic and peaceful.

This is proved by the recent high-level statements on Nagorno
Karabakh. It's also clear who the messages they contain are addressed
to," the President stated.

"In summer we had reached a point, when both the mediating countries
and the international community believed that the parties were close
to reaching an agreement at least in the basic principles. In this
respect, the Kazan meeting was a unique touchstone to assess the
sincerity and resoluteness of the parties to solve the issue in a
peaceful way and as soon as possible. As we saw, Azerbaijan made a step
backward in Kazan, creating new obstacles for a further agreement."

Speaking about the future steps and expectations, Serzh Sargsyan said:
"Irrespective of Azerbaijan's non-constructive position, Armenia will
continue its efforts towards exceptionally peaceful resolution of
the Karabakh conflict based on international law and the principles
incorporated in the UN Charter. We have a red line, which we will
never cross."

"I'm sure many of you share the opinion that Baku is not ready for
peace, since it's impossible to establish peace by propagating war,
to reconcile the societies by spreading hatred towards Armenians,
to build trust by instigating arms race. Such behavior of Azerbaijan
is unacceptable, and our steps will be equivalent. Be assured that
in case of new military adventurism, Armenia will not hesitate to
impose peace to the rival," the President stated.

Speaking about the suspended Armenian-Turkish process, Serzh Sargsyan
noted: "many will probably say we should regret for initiating the
process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, since
Turkey refused from its responsibilities and Armenia lost a huge
political capital.

President Sargsyan noted, however, that "this initiative improved
Armenia's international standing and dissolved the illusion of a new
and modern Turkey."

"Nevertheless, we are committed to normalizing relations with Turkey
without preconditions," the President said, adding that Turkey should
find strength in itself to respect its own commitments.

"The Turkish side needs to understand that the protocols are not an
open and perpetual opportunity. Many of our fiends were advising us
to wait until the parliamentary elections in Turkey. Thus, during the
coming months we'll see whether there are changes in Turkey, although
the past two months do not inspire optimism. Only afterwards we'll
decide upon our future steps," President Serzh Sargsyan concluded.