Yerevan Says ‘Atmosphere of Trust’ Needed for Progress on Artsakh

Armenia's Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan at a press conference on June 8
Armenia's Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan at a press conference on June 8

Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan at a press conference on June 8

YEREVAN—Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsho Kocharyan on Thursday outlined Armenia’s expectations ahead of a visit by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen scheduled for Saturday, saying that the lead negotiators for a resolution to the Karabakh conflict must ensure that agreements reached last year in Vienna and St. Petersburg are implemented.

The aforementioned agreements were reached after the conflict reached a crescendo in April 2016, when Azerbaijan launched a brutal attack on Karabakh position, now referred to as the “Four Day War,’ and envisioned increased monitoring of borders and installation of mechanism to ensure the safety of the population and the security of the frontlines.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Kocharyan said “progress in negotiations is impossible unless an atmosphere of trust is established between the parties.’ As a first step, he said, the shooting and provocations by Azerbaijan must end.

Commenting on forecasts on the possibility of resumption of war, which were further intensified after the International Crisis Group published a new report, Kocharyan said that Yerevan was concerned.

“The escalation of the situation is surely a matter of concern, first of all for the mediating countries, all of whom are permanent members of the UN Security Council and are responsible for peace anywhere in the world,” said Kocharyan.

Turning his attention to other pressing matters in the region, Kocharyan reiterated Armenia’s condemnation of Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Iran, voicing solidarity with Armenia’s neighbor to the south, calling the surge in terrorism around the world a “shared challenge.”

“The contradictions that exist today will remain, but we need to realize that it’s a global challenge that affects all countries and all peoples,” said Kocharyan.

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