Armenia Reacts to PACE Resolution

Foreign Ministry emphasizes Minsk Group’s role in negotiations–non-binding nature of resolution

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamlet Gasparian criticized–on Wednesday–a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolution that addresses the Armenian occupation of Azeri territories around Mountainous Karabagh.

Adopted on Tuesday–the resolution states that "the occupation of foreign territory by a member state constitutes a grave violation of that state’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe." It also notes that the Karabagh war has led to the creation of "mono-ethnic areas which resemble the terrible concept of ethnic cleansing."

Gasparian called the document flawed–saying that it "addresses consequences of the conflict without looking into its root causes."

"Nonetheless–the resolution is not legally binding. It is only advisory and declarative," he said in a statement.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement emphasizes that the Karabagh peace process is spearheaded by the OSCE’s Minsk Group and the Council of Europe. "We believe that the positive and negative sides of the resolution will not have much of an impact on negotiations."

Levon Mkrtchian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–a member of the government coalition–warned of pitfalls lying ahead. "I don’t think that the document will have a direct influence on the Minsk Group process," he said. "But it could complicate the situation in a different way. It could create an illusion among Azerbaijan’s leaders that they can toughen their position and exert pressure on Armenia with such methods."

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