Deputy Foreign Minister Assesses Copenhagen Summit

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan/Reuter)–A news conference by the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia Vardan Oskanian dealt with the results of the recent OSCE Foreign Ministers Summit in Copenhagen.

Oskanian positively assessed the results of the meeting–saying that no new impediment on the way to resumption of the negotiating process emerged in Copenhagen. In particular–he said that no document regarding the Karabakh conflict or statement by the OSCE Chairman in Office was adopted.

The deputy foreign minister noted that there was a real possibility of the chairman issuing a Lisbon-like statement–however–as a result of deliberations and taking into consideration the danger of creating new obstacles on the way to the resumption of the talks–"we have managed to avoid the adoption of a statement."

"Today the major task of each of us is the resumption of the negotiating process–and since no resolution–impeding this–was adopted in Copenhagen–it means that the expectation that the talks will resume is growing among OSCE-member countries. This lays additional responsibilities on the sides–and I would say–on Armenia and Karabakh as well," Oskanian noted.

Only a report by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen was submitted at the meeting. The report was of descriptive nature and included information on activities carried out during this year–as well as on proposals made to the conflicting sides and their standpoints.

Oskanian opined that after the Copenhagen meeting the likelihood of resumption of the negotiating process has "grown slightly."

He said that the co-chairmen were likely to visit the region at the end of this year or early next year. During that visit they will try to come to "a common understanding" on the resumption of the negotiating process. Oskanian found it difficult to answer how soon the negotiations will resume.

He stressed the necessity of some changes in the positions of the co-chairmen for the purpose of resumption of talks–mainly on the participation of.

Answering the question whether the differences in the positions of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairmen were noticeable–Oskanian said that he did not notice them.

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian complained that the OSCE–by declaring last year that Nagorno-Karabakh was an autonomous region inside Azerbaijan–had "not only made negotiations on the status issue impossible–but it also made it very difficult to reach an interim agreement."

Azeri Foreign Minister Hassan Hassanov replied the OSCE should press Armenia to change its unconstructive stand. "Armenia has thrown down the gauntlet to the international community and indecisiveness now is not acceptable," he said.

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