“CE Thinks Borders Should Not Be Center of Conflict”

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The problem of the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict–the need for regional cooperation–the evaluation of Armenia’s fulfillment of its obligations to the CE and other issues were addressed during the joint press conference of Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian and CE Secretary General Walter Schwimmer on July 10. Both high-ranking diplomats highly evaluated the results of the visit of Schwimmer to Armenia.

"The Council of Europe puts press both on Armenia and Azerbaijan in terms of continuation of the peaceful settlement process. It is dangerous to wait long for a solution to any problem–people get used to a certain status quo," said the CE Secretary General. According to him–the CE expresses its readiness to render assistance in the issue of the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

"The CE thinks that it is not necessary that the issue about borders be in the center of the conflict," said Walter Schwimmer. He did not exclude that the special reporter on Nagorno Karabakh of the CE Commission for Political Issues Terry Davis will visit the region this fall.

Speaking about Armenia’s fulfilling its obligations to the CE–Schwimmer expressed a hope that all obligations will be fulfilled–including the abolition of death penalty. He answered negatively to the question of one of the correspondents about the possible exception for Armenia in this issue–taking into account the October 27–1999 events. "This exception is not acceptable," he said.

Schwimmer highly evaluated the importance of the presidential and parliamentary elections–due next year–for the democratic development of Armenia. He expressed readiness to send CE observers to Armenia.


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