YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Speaking on the public TV program "Out of the Agenda" last Saturday–the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Vartan Oskanian pointed out the international community’s shift in mentality on the Karabagh issue from initially promoting Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity–to now seeking a settlement "through an agreement reached by the sides as a result of negotiations."
He conveyed that there are sure to be important developmen’s in Armenia and Azerbaijan relations in the coming five years–and that negotiations must resume at the existing pace even after elections in both countries. For this reason–he added–flawless elections must be held in Armenia’so that the president’s mandate is not doubted.
Oskanian harshly criticized the opposition for attempting to exploit the Meghri issue and said that these attempts are tantamount to questioning Armenia’s integrity. "It is utterly inadmissible to speculate whether the Armenian authorities are planning to cede Meghri."
"A similar idea had occurred to a certain third country–and if not for the strong and consistent position of Robert Kocharian–Meghri would have been jeopardized."