“Good afternoon, dear colleagues,
It is a great pleasure to be here today in Brussels to chair the fourth meeting of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council. It is highly satisfying that despite the current circumstances and challenges for all of us, we manage to ensure the continuity of our talks and cooperation on various levels.
The Armenia-EU Partnership Council is, indeed, a unique platform, where we have in-depth discussions and exchange of views on various topics, ranging from specific aspects of our Armenia-EU bilateral agenda, to regional affairs, to political matters. And I anticipate that in line with the already established tradition we will have an open and engaged dialogue.
Notably, this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union, and it is symbolic that this year also marks the 1st anniversary of the entry into force of the CEPA - the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union.
And of course, we will also reflect on the implementation of this agreement.
Today we also will speak about the situation in the South Caucasus and the normalization process between Armenia and Azerbaijan and also about the process of the comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. And here we expect that the European Union supports the peace process according to the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.
Also, the remaining humanitarian issues - the particular issue of the release of the Armenian POWs and detainees, the protection of Armenian cultural heritage and other remaining issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be discussed as well.
All in all, I would like to state that today’s meeting will be a huge step towards a better understanding, a higher level of partnership and also a higher level of peace and prosperity for our citizens. Thank you.”
Question: Let me, please, clarify one moment. Yerevan proposed its vision of peace with Azerbaijan, suggesting to discuss also the rights and security of those people living in Nagorno-Karabakh. Talking about the readiness of Azerbaijan - is Baku ready to start negotiations based on that?
Ararat Mirzoyan: Well, actually, as you said, we published our vision of the peace process. And at first, we said that in the points suggested by Azerbaijan there is nothing unacceptable for the Armenian side but these points do not address the whole agenda, the whole spectrum of the existing issues of the potential and expected peace treaty. And here for us is crucial to discuss the rights and issue of security in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. We also think that it is important to continue these negotiations on the peace treaty in the frame of and according to the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. So far, we haven’t heard a positive reaction from Azerbaijan to these points. But you know that efforts are being made in order to have these negotiations possible. So I can only stress our readiness and our commitment to have peace and stability in our region. But to have this we need two sides.
Question: One follow-up question: You said that the first meeting between Armenia and Azerbaijan on demarcation will be scheduled for May. Yesterday and before yesterday, on May 16-17, but finally this meeting did not take place. May I ask why?
Ararat Mirzoyan: You are right, the meeting didn’t take place but I can assure you that we will continue our talks about organizing this meeting. There are some technicalities to be agreed by the sides. And hopefully, in the upcoming days and weeks, we will finally have this meeting.
Thank you so much.