There Is no Alternative to Peaceful Resolution of Karabagh Conflict: Sargisian Tells Euronest


There Is no Alternative to Peaceful Resolution of Karabagh Conflict: Sargisian |
YEREVAN (Armenpress) — The President of Armenia Serge Sargisian attended the opening meeting of the Fourth Session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) held in Yerevan and addressed the session’s participants.
The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly is the parliamentary component of the Eastern Partnership, consisting of members of the European Parliament as well as the national parliaments of Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, respectively.
The president’s office released the full text of the address.
In his address, he expressed his desire for closer ties with Europe concurrent with close economic ties with Russia and the Eastern Partnership.
“It is good that relations between Armenia and EU are developing dynamically. I believe strongly that discussions to be held and resolutions to be adopted in the parliamentary dimension under the extensive list of agenda items of the EURONEST Session will contribute to the deepening of cooperation between the European Union and partner nations in a number of areas. Among those items are infrastructure and transport cooperation, energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy, dialogue in the area of culture. It is also a high time to exchange opinions in reviewing the European Neighborhood Policy and on the preparations for the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit,” Sargisian said.
He added, “We build upon the premise that it is possible to accommodate both the Armenia’s membership to the Eurasian Economic Union, with all commitments stemming thereof, and the European Union’s deep and comprehensive agenda. Moreover, we will attempt to explore compatible middle ground through establishment of close ties between the various integration processes, and thus contribute to the consolidation of shared pan-European values free of contradictions and dividing lines.”
He also spoke about the commemoration of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide as well as the need for the speedy and peaceful settlement of the conflict in Nagorno Karabagh.
“This year the whole Armenian nation has been joined by the civilized world in commemorating victims of the Armenian Genocide that took place in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. We recall with gratitude and highly value the role of the European Parliament in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. It was the first among pan-European institutions to adopt in 1987 a resolution condemning that crime perpetrated against Armenians in the territory of the Ottoman Empire and calling upon the Turkish government to recognize it. The Armenian Genocide is not only the tragedy of our nation but also a global crime against civilization and humanity, which reminds us of the failure to learn from history, dangers of a genocide denial, as well as the long-term negative consequences of letting this type of crime to go unpunished and unrecognized. The respect towards human rights is the pillar of the European Union values upon which our cooperation is built.
He also praised the resolution the group passed recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
“With regard to the resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh problem I would like to underline that we are not going to transform this platform into a propaganda tool or conduit to sow interethnic hostility, as it has been the case in Azerbaijan. We will try to take best advantage of the opportunities provided by this Assembly for the benefit of peaceful coexistence and cooperation of our nations. The best testimony to what I just stated was active participation of the Armenian delegations in a wide range of events that took place in Azerbaijan, including the Ordinary Session that took place in Baku back in 2012. I regret that the Azerbaijani side evades meeting us halfway by responding to our steps towards constructive dialogue. It is though more disturbing that our neighboring State demonstrates unconstructive and maximalist stance in the very process of the peaceful resolution of the Karabagh conflict by backtracking on the already agreed points, by consistently trying to change the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship or to launch negotiations on the great treaty without registering agreement on the basic principles. It should be obvious that the keys to the settlement of this issue are not located in Paris, Moscow or Washington, but in Baku, Stepanakert and Yerevan. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan invents far-fetched excuses in order to avoid the settlement based on the principles proposed by the Co-Chairs.”