YEREVAN (Armenpress)– "In the context of security in the Caucasus–we view the issues of Armenia’s security on three levels: state–physical-territorial and economic. We are well aware that they are interconnected and constitute one system," said Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian during a seminar dedicated to issues of regional security sponsored by the Center on Public Dialogue and Developmen’s.
Referring to state security–he said that–in order to provide the environment in which to profess national and humanitarian values and ideas–the leadership have assumed task of building a democratic country based on the rule of law. "From an initial glance–it may seem that this is a domestic issue–but I am sure that this an issue of foreign policy as well–as other democratic countries make their cooperation with Armenia contingent on how we comprehend these values," stressed the minister.
"Though Armenia is not a full rule of law and democratic country… " he stated–"it has taken the path toward it–and the main issue presently is to make the democratic processes irreversible. In this regard–we have to overcome a set of hindrances and threats–which Armenia’s cannot fully perceive. It is time to understand that democratic values guarantee development of our country and society. This is a serious problem–the solution to which must be supported by the country’s authorities–people–political and public organizations"–said Oskanian.
As far as threats to state security–he singled out terrorist acts (particularly–the events of October 27–1999–labeling them a ‘heavy blow to Armenian statehood’).
He stressed that the 1996 presidential polls–marred with numerous irregularities and vote rigging–can not be repeated. And that parties should not capitalize on political developmen’s to pursue narrow ends.
In order to counter the above–steps are being taken by the state he added–"One of the most important steps was becoming a member of the Council of Europe and assuming appropriate commitmen’s. The constitutional amendmen’s–approval of laws on political parties–elections etc.–are evidence that the leadership of Armenia does its best to eliminate these threats."
Speaking about the Karabagh conflict resolution process–he stated that in terms of security–it becomes highly essential to guarantee a continued negotiating process. On physical and territorial security–Oskanian said that that the following tasks must be fulfilled: to guarantee Armenia’s territorial inviolability–to guarantee the physical security of people in Armenia and Artsakh–and to keep Armenian citizens and compatriots living in other countries at the center of attention: "As long as there exists a danger of war–the problem of our people’s physical security and the problem of our people’s integrity persist."