Minsk Group Should Learn from Azeri Election Record

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–According to monitors from the Council of Europe and the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe–the presidential elections in Azerbaijan fell short of international standards–and the OSCE Minsk group should draw corresponding conclusions–Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Arsen Gasparian said at a briefing Friday.

He said that the Council of Europe and OSCE will issue final reports on the presidential elections in Azerbaijan within a month.

He also said that election results in Azerbaijan did not a surprise Armenia: "We expected Haydar Aliyev to be elected president."

Cyprus has joined Armenia in its opposition to holding the next summit of the OSCE in the Turkish city of Istanbul–Gasparian told reporters adding that the Cypriot government announced its position on the issue on October 9 during a meeting of foreign ministers of the OSCE member-states in Vienna.

Istanbul is being promoted by many OSCE states as the venue of the summit–which is due to approve a charter for the "European security in the 21st century."

Armenia insists that the charter cannot be adopted in Turkey–a country it has said has a "poor human rights record–subjects another OSCE member-state to blockade and refuses to establish diplomatic relations with all OSCE states."

Officials in the Armenian foreign ministry told RFE/RL on Friday that the final decision on the venue and date of the OSCE summit is expected to be taken in December at a meeting of OSCE foreign ministers–making up its "council of ministers."

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