Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni Visits Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan
YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—The Armenian side is ready to meet with Azeri counterparts, but will be waiting for development until December, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said at a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni in Yerevan.
The Foreign Minister said he will meet with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council session in Hamburg December 8-9, but did not confirm the meeting with Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
“Of course, we are ready to participate in meetings, but everything will depend on the developments before Hamburg, because, as a rule, Azerbaijan aggravates the situation in the conflict zone before meetings, and has now declared about large-scale military actions that will involve the whole potential of the Armed Forces – 60 thousand troops, tanks, missiles, aviation, etc. This is an obvious violation of the Vienna document,” Nalbandian said.
The Foreign Minister described it as a “provocative step” ahead of the Ministerial Council session in Hamburg. Besides, he said, the intensity of the ceasefire violations by the Azerbaijani side has also increased.
Nalbandian reminded about the numerous statements of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs that the conflict should be solved on the basis of the three principles of international law – non-use of force or the threat of force, the right of peoples to self-determination and territorial integrity. “Any attempt to separate the principles will make the settlement of the conflict impossible. Baku should decide whether it really wants to continue the negotiations in this format. On one hand, they say ready to participate in meetings, on the other hand, they speak against the Co-Chairs’ proposals, which form the basis of settlement,” Nalbandian stated.
Otherwise, he said, the simple participation in becoming an imitation on the part of Azerbaijan. “Vivid examples of this are the meetings in Vienna and St. Petersburg. They participated in the summits, but it gave nothing.”
“Baku has been refusing to call the agreements reached at the Vienna and St. Petersburg summits to life. Moreover, it has been doing the utmost to prevent their implementation. Those who had doubts that Azerbaijan can resort to an abrupt aggravation of the situation, got clear proofs in early April, when Azerbaijan unleashed large-scale military actions,” Nalbandian said.
Italy plans to focus on frozen conflicts during its chairmanship in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2017, Gentiloni said on Monday after talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov, TASS reports.
“In the period of its chairmanship in the OSCE and non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, we will focus on frozen conflicts,” he told a news conference. In his words, Italy can make a contribution to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Mammadyarov, in turn, said that the meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian top diplomats is scheduled for early December in Germany’s Hamburg within the framework of an OSCE Ministerial Council meeting. “The Azerbaijani side gave its consent for this meeting,” he said.
Gentiloni also visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex on Monday.
He laid a wreath at the memorial and paid tribute to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide with a minute of silence.
Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum (AGMI) Institute Hayk Demoyan briefed the guest on the history of construction of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and presented the English publication of the “Armenian Genocide: Frontpage Coverage in the World Press.”