Sarkisian, Greek OSCE Envoy Discuss Karabakh, Greek Chairmanship

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–President Serzh Sarkisian met Thursday with the Greek Special Representative to the OSCE, Nicolaos Kalantzianos, whose country is set to assume next year the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which mediates the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through its Minsk Group.

On the agenda of the meeting was a discussion of Armenia’s expectations from the Greek chairmanship of the OSCE. The two also discussed recent developmen’s in the region, including the conflict in Georgia, and the surge in diplomatic activity between Armenia, Turkey, and now Azerbaijan.

According to President Sarkisian, a close and effective partnership exists between the Armenia and OSCE through its Yerevan office because Armenia considers cooperation with the OSCE to be vital to its national security.

Sarkisian told Kalantzianos that during the last 14 years, Sarkisian said, the OSCE Minsk Group has maintained neither a state of war, nor peace in its work to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh.

The OSCE Minsk Group has a lot of work to do in this regard, Sarkisian noted, adding that there are many opportunities available for resolving the conflict.

But any attempt to change the Minsk Group format or move the conflict outside its jurisdiction would be extremely dangerous, he stressed.

Kalantzianos and his delegation also met Thursday with National Assembly Speaker Tigran Torosyan. Armenia’s Permanent Representative in the OSCE, Ashot Hovakimyan, the Head of the OSCE Yerevan Office, Sergey Kapinos, Armenian Ambassador to Greece Vahram Kazhoyan and Greek Ambassador to Armenia, Ioannis Korinthios, were also present at the meeting.

After greeting the delegation, Torosyan spoke about the developing situation the region since Georgia’s ill-fated attempt to recapture South Ossetia by force triggered a Russian military response that temporarily froze the westward flow of Caspian oil and left the region in frenzy.

The events that occurred in August have created a complex situation, Torosyan said, in reference to the conflict in Georgia. He also expressed confidence that a Greece would work to settle regional issues once it assumes the OSCE presidency.

“Armenia is ready to participate in that important process,” Torosyan said.

Kalantzianos said that upon assuming the OSCE Presidency, Greece will work in cooperation with the EU and OSCE members states to overcome the crisis in Georgia.

In discussing with Kalantzianos the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armenian-Turkish relations, Torosyan echoed Sarkisian’s sentimen’s that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. Torosyan further explained that the conflict must be solved in accordance with international law.

“The only real solution to the conflict is the realization of the right to self determination of the people of Karabakh,” he said. “It’s absurd that the conflict is viewed as a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, ignoring Karabakh, which the OSCE has recognized as a party to the conflict and a signatory of the 1994 ceasefire.”

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