Oskanian Satisfied With Reykjavik Talks

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia’s Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian gave a press conference on May 18 summing up the results of the Reykjavik meetings between the foreign affairs ministers of Armenia–Turkey and Azerbaijan. The minister denied publications in the Armenian press saying the talks passed in a tense atmosphere. In particular–Oskanian mentioned the four pre-conditions his Turkish counterpart advanced for establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey.

"The trilateral meeting between the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia–Turkey and Azerbaijan was held in a normal and constructive atmosphere," said Oskanian. According to him–the trilateral meeting did not discuss Armenian-Turkish relations. He said stress was put on regional problems. "Turkey is not a mediator in the Karabakh issue–it acts as an equal side and assumes responsibility for contributing to the establishment and strengthening of an auspicious atmosphere in the region–including in the settlement of existing conflicts," Oskanian emphasized.

In the adopted joint statement–it is said that as a result of the meeting–the sides discussed issues of mutual interest. An agreement about holding another meeting was also reached.

Minister Oskanian also discussed his second meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Cem–saying they discussed Armenian-Turkish relations–ways of their development–existing obstacles and possible ways of overcoming these obstacles. "We had straightforward and frank discussion regarding all issues–but it is still early to give any estimations for there are meetings still ahead," Oskanian said. He pointed out that the bilateral meeting also discussed issues concerning the Karabakh conflict settlement. "We believe that with discussion only will we be able to come to terms with this issue. The Karabakh settlement process does not need new mediators–but it needs the active participation of neighbors in improving the atmosphere–which eventually will contribute to progress in settling the conflict," Oskanian underlined.

As for the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission–Vardan Oskanian pointed out that Armenia does not need additional channels on the issue of Armenian-Turkish relations.

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