Oskanian Addresses OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On March 21–before ambassadors from 55 countries–Armenian Foreign Minister Oskanian laid out Armenia’s European perspective and the value of participation in European structures.

Minister Oskanian said–"In all of our endeavors through this difficult transition–our membership and participation in various European structures play a crucial role.

Whether the Council of Europe–or the OSCE–or various forms of associations and cooperation with the EU–we are guided–prodded–assisted and judged in our performance and our progress. We appreciate their role. Our perspectives are European and our actions are designed to match our prospects to our perspectives."

He expressed appreciation for the role of the OSCE Yerevan Office–in its consistent and persistent assistance in all areas – from combating corruption–reform–to environmental policy–and encouraging civic participation.

The minister’s address came a few days after the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs announced that negotiations between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan would continue more frequently through the appointment of their personal representatives.

The minister acknowledged the role of the OSCE in actively mediating this conflict over the last decade and reasserted Armenia’s position regarding peace negotiations. He reasserted the value of Nagorno Karabakh’s claim to self-determination.

He continued–"The population of Nagorno Karabakh cannot forever live in uncertainty and economic isolation. It has a yearning not only for peace–but also for democracy and prosperity. For their legal and constitutional right for self-determination–as well as for their very self-preservation–they have fought–and won."

He also emphasized the need for exploring every opportunity for regional cooperation in the search for peace and stability in the Caucasus.

Representatives of the EU–the US and Russia responded to the minister’s commen’s–as did the ambassadors of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

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