Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday said that Armenia will take part in preliminary talks over the dangerous Ankara-proposed “3+3” scheme, which envisions the creation of a regional bloc with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Iran and Turkey.
The scheme was proposed by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the end of last year and immediately received the blessing of his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.
Last month, Georgia made it abundantly clear that it will not participate in the scheme, saying that Tbilisi cannot work in alliance with Russia.
Nevertheless, speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Pashinyan said that Armenia would be interested in exploring this “3+3” platform, if it excludes matters also under negotiations in other talks, such as the OSCE Minsk Group settlement efforts.
He said that the matter has been discussed with Armenia’s “Russian partners,” who, according to Pashinyan, share Armenia’s posturing.
The prime minister informed lawmakers that the preliminary talks will be held Friday and Armenia will be represented by the deputy foreign minister, “because that preliminary meeting will take place at that level, where future activities will be discussed.”
Pashinyan said that Yerevan will have a more clear vision on the matter following the meeting and reports from Armenia’s representative.
Meanwhile, Armenia’s foreign ministry reported on Wednesday that Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan touched on the “3+3” scheme during a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Mirzoyan and Lavrov also discussed the Karabakh conflict settlement, emphasizing the need for the complete restoration of the peace process for a lasting and comprehensive resolution to the conflict under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.