BONN (Itar-Tass–Reuters)–Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian arrived in Bonn Sunday evening on an official four-day visit–reported the German Foreign Ministry. During the visit–Oskanian will hold talks with his German counterpart Klaus Kinkel. The diplomats will focus on the situation in Armenia–and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
The German Foreign Ministry said Oskanyan and Kinkel will issue a joint statement on the foundation of relations between Yerevan and Bonn–and will also sign an agreement on air communication between the two states.
At a Monday ceremony–Oskanian presented to Kinkel around 570 books dating back as far as the 11th century–which had been taken away by Soviet forces in the aftermath of WWII.
The German Foreign Minister said the books included rare works on theology and also musical man’scripts by Johann Christian Bach–the youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. Most originally came from libraries in Bremen–Hamburg and Luebeck but were stored underground in the east of what was then German territory to protect them from bombing raids.
German officials said Soviet troops discovered the books and shipped them back to Leningrad in 1946. From there–they were pressed on to the archives of the Armenian Academy of Sciences.
Kinkel described Armenia’s gesture as a "great boost" for bilateral relations and said he hoped it would be a signal to other countries which still have German cultural treasures as a result of the war.
On Monday–Oskanian also met with Ambassador Frank Lambach–German representative to the OSCE Minsk Group. Oskanian presented Armenia’s position on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict which is a package solution excluding preconditions–reported Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Arsen Gasparian at a press conference.
"With the term `preconditions,’ we mean the principles of the 1996 Lisbon summit," he said. "That means that negotiations on status should start without preconditions; ‘autonomy,’ ‘self-government’ formulations should be excluded," Gasparian explained.
Gasparian said that it has also been mentioned that Karabakh’s direct subordination to Azerbaijan should be excluded–and that the solution should ensure balanced relations between Karabakh and Azerbaijan which can be achieved through direct talks between the two republics.
"This solution is quite realistic for Armenia and its newly elected president is highly interested in the peaceful settlement of the issue in the shortest possible time," said Gasparian. According to the spokesman–Ambassador Lambach accepted Armenia’s position saying that it is rather realistic and can contribute to progress.