Armenia NATO to Foster Ties Says Arzoumanian

MADRID (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian says Armenia will actively engage in a direct political relationship with NATO.

Arzoumanian said Wednesday Yerevan supports the Western alliance’s efforts to establish and implement a sound regional agenda–including a regional disarmament policy aimed at increasing confidence through openness.

In a statement issued at the Madrid NATO Summit–Arzoumanian said that these measures would further consolidate the existing cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–and help facilitate a political settlement of the conflict.

The Armenian foreign minister said the NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council–which held its first meeting today–will help to integrate the peoples of the Caucasus region into a broader cooperative–security framework. Arzoumanian noted the EAPC’s goal of improved crisis prevention and peacekeeping.

He also said suggestions that Armenia might join the Russia-Belarus Union is not on Armenia’s foreign policy agenda.

Arzoumanian had a bilateral meeting with France’s President Jacques Chirac yesterday–and discussed the Karabakh dispute. France–the United States and Russia co-chair the international negotiations on a Karabakh settlement.

Arzoumanian also met Georgia’s President Eduard Shevarnadze to discuss Georgia-Armenia relations and regional security issues.


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