Armenia’s UN Ambassador Martirosian Looks Forward to Pres. Sargisian’s Visit

By Daphne Abeel
Mirror-Spectator Staff

UNITED NATIONS — In advance of the visit this month of Armenian President Serge Sargisian to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Ambassador to the UN Armen Martirosian spoke briefly, in an interview on August 26 about Sargisian’s trip and other matters.

Said Martirosian, “The president will speak to the General Assembly on September 25. This is not a bilateral visit and he has not raised the possibility of meeting with US leaders. His only agenda, in addition to his address, will be to have meetings with some of his colleagues from other countries at the UN, and to conduct some meetings with Armenian organizations and with the Armenian community in New York. He will be here for only two days.”

Asked about the consequences of the Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia, Martirosian said, “Of course, this conflict has consequences for Armenia. Back in the early ’90s, after the break up of the USSR, there was a civil war going on in Georgia. We are very interested in the stability and prosperity of Georgia. Tensions are rising and [current Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev has just recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is premature to comment on what the outcome will be, but it is certain that things are becoming more complicated in the region.”

He added, “We are for the peaceful resolution of conflict by political means,” adding that the opinion of the people should be taken into consideration.

Commenting on the appointment of the new US Ambassador to Armenia Marie L. Yovanovitch, who has not yet been confirmed by the US Senate, Martirosian said, “Again, it is not possible to comment at length. Unless the US administration changes its position on the recognition of the Genocide, the ambassador, whoever it is, will continue to support the US position.”

Looking back at a draft resolution introduced by Azerbaijan in early 2008 that called for an “unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces” and an “affirmation of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity,” Martirosian said the vote was “unfortunate.” It was adopted by the Organization of the Islamic Caucus, which is composed of 57 members. However, only 32 of them supported Azerbaijan. The European Union abstained from the vote, and
the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe — France, Russia and the US — voted against the resolution and took the Armenian position.”

Martirosian added, “India, the world’s largest democracy, supported Armenia’s position, so although legally, the resolution was adopted, it was really Azerbaijan’s defeat. In any case, the resolution is not a binding one.”

Martirosian, who was appointed to his position by Armenia’s former president, Robert Kocharian, has continued to serve under President Serge Sargisian.

“So far, so good. Of course, I serve at the discretion of the president, but at the moment, I am here to continue to represent and support Armenia’s mission.”