YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—The European Union is ready to help in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process, said the newly appointed European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus Tuesday during a visit to Armenia.
Ambassador Philip Lefort emphasized that while the negotiations on the Karabakh conflict resolution are conducted within the framework of the Minsk Group, the EU has the mechanisms to provide additional assistance in that realm. “The European Union, which is an important role-player in the world, is ready to help the region reach peace,” he said.
“The South Caucasus plays a role of a bridge and has a great potential of cultural and economic development, especially is peace is finally established in the region,” said Lefort who is also the EU ambassador to the crisis in Georgia, at a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.
”The EU possesses corresponding mechanisms and experience to contribute to such processes and wants to help Armenia and Azerbaijan equally, since it considers that both countries are equal victims of the conflict. This is the approach I’m starting my mission with,” he stated.
At the press conference, Nalbandian spoke about Azerbaijan’s expressed desire to become a member of the UN Security Council.
“I doubt that a country, which boasts of having increased the military budget 20 times during six years, can join the structure, which has assumed the main peacemaking and peacekeeping role,” said Nalbandian.
The foreign minister held a meeting with Lefort prior to the press conference. The two discussed issues related to the European Neighborhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership Program, noting that great progress has been made in recent times.
“Armenia-EU relations have always been one of the priority directions of Armenia’s foreign policy, and special attention has been paid to all aspects of Armenia-EU cooperation,” said Nalbandian.
Lefort also met with President Serzh Sarkisian, who expressed hope that the new ambassador’s rich diplomatic experience and knowledge of our region would be useful in strengthening the Armenia-EU relations.