As CSTO President, Sarkisian Warns Azerbaijan

Members of CSTO during session (Source: Armenpress)
Members of CSTO during session (Source: Armenpress)

Members of CSTO during session (Source: Armenpress)

MOSCOW (Combined Sources)—President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday assumed the presidency of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, during its plenary session and in a speech warned Azerbaijan about continuing its military aggression.

“Every time Azerbaijani Armed Forces use automatic guns, mortars and artillery against the Republic of Armenia, they shoot in the direction of Astana, Dushanbe and Bishkek, Moscow and Minsk,” Sarkisian told the CSTO Collective Security Council.

“Let me remind you that we have a corresponding paragraph in our Charter. If we not only fail to apply that article, to discuss the current situation, if we don’t consider it proper to pick up the phone and call to know what’s happening in allied Armenia, at the same time voting against each other’s interests within the framework of international organizations and adopting bilateral statements with third countries with their texts contradicting the interests of a CSTO partner, we jeopardize the entire Organization, its reputation and capabilities,” added Sarkisian.

“Azerbaijan’s policy is aimed at further aggravating the conflict. Unfortunately, the situation has not only failed to stabilize, but has even worsened. The Azerbaijani side continues to use heavy artillery, including ones of made in Turkey. On December 8 they fired from a tank for the first time since the establishment of the ceasefire regime in 1994, and this raises tension to a new and very dangerous level,” asserted Sarkisian.

“Taking into consideration the recent tense atmosphere in the region, we should not rule out that Azerbaijan has been guided or supported by outside forces,” said Sarkisian.

In his remarks, Sarkisian also discussed the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey, saying that it complicated the already challenging efforts to combat terrorism and hindered the volatile situation.

He urged his CSTO colleagues to draw lessons from NATO, whose member-states unequivocally supported Turkey after the shooting of the jet, saying that the CSTO member states must support each other in the event of adversity.

The CSTO summit, which kicked off on Monday, included the participation of the presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Secretary General of the Organization and delegates of CSTO member states.

The summit issued a statement on the need to fight the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Da’esh.

“We see as a priority, the decisive fight against the ISIL terrorist group that has unleashed cruel bloodshed in many countries and presents a threat to all of humanity,” the CSTO’s statement said.

“We note the growth of security threats in Central Asia connected with activities of ISIL, the Taliban movement, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations on the territory of Afghanistan which leads to escalation of tensions on CSTO’s southern borders, directly destabilizing the situation in the area of its (CSTO’s) responsibility,” the statement added.

The document noted that CSTO member states call on all countries to strictly comply with requirements of anti-terrorist resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly. The leaders of CSTO member countries also called for the formation of a broad coalition on the basis of the UN Charter, norms and principles of international law without politicizing and preconditions.

“We pay much attention to further strengthening the package of measures aimed at fighting against the ideology of international terrorism and religious extremism. We are confident that in order to strengthen civil immunity to the distribution of radical ideas, it is necessary to add to efforts of relevant state authorities the potential of public structures, media and religious confessions,” the statement said.

Sarkisian told reporters after the close of the session that CSTO member states unanimously decided to extend the tenure of the acting Secretary General Nikolai Borduzha until January 1, 2017.


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