MINSK, Belarus—Leaders of countries represented in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which Armenia is a member, gathered in the Belarus capital on Thursday, and within one of the statements adopted by the general assembly, expressed support for the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen’s efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict.
“Presidents of the CSTO member-states once again reiterated their support for the efforts exerted by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the three principles for conflict resolution: peoples’ right to self-determination, non-use of force or threat of force and territorial integrity,” the meeting decided.
“The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, represented by Russia, France and the United States, is the only international structure vested with relevant mandate, the mission of which is assisting the parties to reach the settlement of the NK conflict through political-diplomatic measures. Due to the efforts of the three Co-Chairing states, an entirety of principles and elements has been designed as a foundation of the issue’s solution, which are reflected in the joint statement of the Russian, French and US presidents,” the CSTO statement reads.
Confirming the exclusively peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the leaders of the CSTO member states express their support to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ efforts aimed at settling the conflict, on the basis of norms and principles of international right, which are stipulated in the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, namely the non use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity of states, self-determination and equality of peoples.
“We are in favor of the 2016-2017 Vienna, St. Petersburg, Geneva summit agreements on the NK conflict, which are aimed at maintaining the ceasefire, de-escalating the situation in the conflict zone and taking additional measures for activating the negotiations process, as well as not allowing an escalation of the situation”, the statement says.
Joining President Serzh Sarkisian at the summit were Armenia’s foreign and defense ministers Edward Nalbandian and Vigen Sargsyan, who attended a separate meeting of their counterparts from member-states that, aside from Armenia, include Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.
CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov briefed the participants on the organization’s ongoing activitie and updated them on the progress of decisions taken at the last CSTO summit.
The Minsk summit became another important stage for CSTO’s development, Khachaturov announced, stressing that the CSTO Collective Rapid Response Force Operational and Combat Training Program was fully implemented in 2017.
In addition to its regular efforts, the CSTO also stage a large-scale emergency military exercise in Tajikistan with participation of the CSTO collective forces. The total number of servicemen that participated in the military exercises was reported to be 12,000.
“For the further improvement of combat readiness of the collective forces the Heads of State have adopted decisions that will be implemented in 2018,” said Khachaturov.