Remarks by Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian at the joint press conference with Lamberto Zannier, the OSCE Secretary General
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am glad to welcome Lamberto Zannier, the OSCE Secretary General, in Yerevan.
Armenia’s involvement in all the dimensions of the OSCE’s activity, implementation of the OSCE programmes in Armenia can indeed be considered exemplary.
The visit of the Secretary General takes place at a time when the Organization has to close its last office in our region since one of the OSCE participating states, Azerbaijan, by abusing its right of veto, blocked the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Yerevan Office. Baku attempted to present this within Azerbaijan-Armenia dimension, while in reality it is related to the OSCE-Azerbaijan relations. This is an act directed against the OSCE itself.
I believe that the OSCE Chairmanship, as well as the participating states and the Secretariat have made relevant conclusions in regard to this destructive step of Baku, which totally contradicts the OSCE vision and goals.
Regarding the Office I would like to add that we anticipate that many programmes, which Office has been implementing, will continue to be realized within other formats.
We have had a comprehensive discussion with Mr. Zannier both during a tete-a-tete meeting and with participation of delegations that followed.
We exchanged views on the issues of the Organization’s agenda, activities in all three dimensions, discussed the process of implementation of the priorities of the Austrian Chairmanship.
We also touched upon the Parliamentary elections held in Armenia on April 2. We stated that the unprecedented number of observers monitored the elections. The assessments of the international observation missions are indeed valuable, according to which the elections were well organized, fundamental human rights were respected and the voting results reflect the will of the people of Armenia.
I presented to Mr. Zannier the efforts of Armenia and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries aimed at advancing the peaceful settlement process of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. We highlighted the importance of implementation of the agreements reached during the last year’s summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg, the realization of which, as you know, Azerbaijan continues to obstruct.
We also focused on other urgent international and regional security-related issues.
Using this opportunity I would like to emphasize that during his six-year tenure the Secretary General and I established solid working contacts and warm personal relations, which greatly contributes to effective cooperation within the OSCE. As most probably, this is the last visit of Mr. Zannier to Armenia in his current capacity, I would like to thank him for close cooperation and wish him every success in his future endeavours.