Foreign Ministry Issues Announcement

YEREVAN (Armenpress)Below is the translated text of the Armenian Foreign Ministry statement issued Saturday:

Azerbaijan has recently embarked upon a vicious and mean-spirited propaganda campaign intended to discredit Armenia–Nagorno Karabakh–and the entire peace process. Azerbaijan’s actions–which violate all international norms and ethical principles–is based solely on misinformation and unfounded accusations– and such actions must be condemned.

The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets that Azerbaijan has chosen to undertake such a destructive and damaging campaign at a very crucial moment in the peace process–when the newly created co-chairmanship of the Minsk group has decided to resume the Minsk process–after a three-month-long interruption.

Spreading false information does not correspond to the atmosphere of compromise and confidence-building–which Azerbaijan purports to support. In fact–such behavior prevents and jeopardizes any possible progress in the upcoming Minsk Group negotiations planned for April in Moscow. Furthermore–Azerbaijan’s behavior endangers the fragile cease-fire–and exacerbates the tension in the region.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry would like to believe that these acts do not reflect the true intentions of the more moderate leadership of Azerbaijan–and calls on the authorities in Baku to resist cooperation with those who wish to exploit the current situation in hopes of further deterioration of the region.

Armenia recommits itself to supporting and maintaining the verbal cease-fire. The government of Armenia is also determined to make the necessary compromises to achieve peace.

Armenia calls on Azerbaijan to denounce this provocative propaganda war–and instead concentrate on the peace process–while at the same time becoming constructively engaged in bringing about a peaceful resolution to the conflict–based on compromise and good will.

March 8–1997

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