Security Charter Can’t Be Drafted in Istanbul Oskanian Says

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian met last week with his Polish counterpart Bronislav Geremek in Luxemburg. Because Poland is the OSCE chairing country this year–the main topic of conversation was the Karabakh conflict as well as Armenia’s opposition to holding the next OSCE summit in Istanbul.

Regarding the OSCE summit in Istanbul–Oskanian stressed that Armenia finds it inadmissible to adopt the European Security Charter in a country which has a low rating in human rights protection–is blockading another member of the organization as well as has yet to establish diplomatic relations with all OSCE member countries.

Oskanian presented Armenia’s official approach to the Karabakh settlement. He stressed that new–more flexible–approaches need to be adopted in order to rule out the application of the preliminary conditions based on the Lisbon principles. He said that a package solution and equal participation of the parties to the conflict will make it possible to find an acceptable solution for a comprehensive settlement. To achieve this–the foreign minister said–it is necessary for Karabakh to participate in the negotiating process as a full party to the conflict–as well as to have international relations. Oskanian reported that Armenia finds unacceptable the conditions that set Karabakh’s status as part of Azerbaijan–as that would restrict Karabakh’s participation in the negotiating process for its just status.

Geremek stressed that he–as foreign minister of the OSCE chairing country–will certainly visit the countries of the region. At the same time–he expressed optimism that the negotiating process would be resumed in the near future–before the OSCE foreign ministers meet in Oslo.

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