Lisbon Weakened Possibilities for Compromise Says Arzoumanian

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–During the three-year cease-fire there has not been significant progress in the Karabakh conflict–said Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian–at the 52nd General Assembly of the United Nations.

According to Arzoumanian–the Lisbon summit–in its turn failed to create any progress–and instead it toughened Azerbaijan’s position–which in turn translated into weakened possibilities for compromise from the Azeri stand point.

The Armenian official said that for progress to occur–the people of Karabakh need to be given real security guarantees–which will ensure their livelihood and fate.

He stressed that Armenia remains adherent to its position as an active participant of the negotiating process. Arzoumanian emphasized that a final solution to the conflict is impossible without the direct participation of the Karabakh side in the issue of determining its political status.

In this connection the minister called on Azerbaijan to sit at the table of negotiations with the elective authorities of Karabakh as soon as possible. The minister again stressed that the self-determination principle is an integral part of human rights.

Speaking of the control over arms and disarmament–the foreign minister noted that Armenia is actively participating in that process and is going to fulfill all its duties–designed by international agreemen’s and treaties.

Arzoumanian also presented Armenia’s position toward the extension of the UN Security Council and adding five new permanent members.

Arzoumanian met with the delegation of the US State Department–headed by Deputy State Secretary Strobe Talbot Monday.The sides discussed the advantages of a package and stage-by-stage methods for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict in the context of a recent visit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk group co-chairmen to the region.

Talbot reasserted the position of his government–according to which the highest possible guarantees of security should be provided to Karabakh in any of the possible versions of conflict resolution.

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