The interview of Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan to the "Anadolu" agency

07 March, 2024

In the framework of participation in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan gave an interview to the Turkish "Anadolu" news agency. Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan touched upon the normalization process of relations with Turkey, Armenia's approach to opening the border, the reached agreement in that regard and expectations, the negotiation process with Azerbaijan, as well as the Armenia-EU relations.

Normalization process of relations between Armenia and Turkey

Touching upon the environment of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Minister Mirzoyan said: "The Diplomacy Forum in Antalya is really impressive. I have the opportunity to participate in the Forum for the second time. The first time was two years ago." Touching upon last year's cancellation of the forum due to the earthquake in Kahramanmaras, Minister Mirzoyan mentioned his post-earthquake visit to Turkey, to the disaster zone and Ankara.

"Within the framework of the process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey, Special Representatives were appointed who had meetings and telephone contacts. There were also phone conversations between President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan. There are continuous contacts that provide positive dynamics," Ararat Mirzoyan noted.

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia also noted that an agreement was reached to open the land border between Turkey and Armenia for citizens of third countries, as well as holders of diplomatic passports of Armenia and Turkey. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia also stated that the restoration of the historical Ani bridge is also being discussed, recalling some agreements that have been reached on the construction of infrastructures and roads in the bordering areas. "Armenia sincerely wants the soonest possible opening of state borders, establishment of diplomatic relations and the expansion of ties between the two peoples and cultures," the Minister said.

In response to the question about the advantages of open borders between the two countries, Ararat Mirzoyan noted: "The benefits of open borders are obvious. First of all, it is very important for the people. The development of relations, the growth of economic relations will benefit, first of all, people, which the majority of Armenian citizens realize."

On the negotiation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan

"I want to use this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the peace agenda. We continue the negotiations with Azerbaijan towards the signing of the peace treaty. We continue this process to strengthen stability and peace in the South Caucasus in general," Ararat Mirzoyan said.

Noting that the parties managed to reach agreements on some of the issues, Mirzoyan emphasized that they have different approaches on two important matters: "The first of these issues relates to the principles of delimitation of the two countries, and the other relates to regional communications and connectivity."

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia noted that the parties should, first of all, reaffirm the mutual recognition of territorial integrity, adding that Armenia insists that the border delimitation process should take place in accordance with the Alma-Ata Declaration signed in 1991. Noting that no one has the authority to draw new borders, Ararat Mirzoyan stated that Yerevan wants this declaration to be included in the draft peace treaty. Ararat Mirzoyan added that Azerbaijan has not given a positive response on this matter.

At the same time, on regional communications, Ararat Mirzoyan said: "We are interested in opening transport routes. Opening regional transport communications is also very important for us as it will provide us with significant economic benefits. Thus, the "Crossroads of Peace" project developed by Armenia is important from an economic point of view, but also as a guarantee of sustainable peace in the region.”

Foreign Minister of Armenia emphasized. "We are against involvement of third countries in ensuring the safety of cargo and people on the transport communications passing through the territory of Armenia. Transport communications in the region must be under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the country in which they are located. The principles of equality and reciprocity are also important. The process should be built on the basis of these principles."

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia added that the same principle of equality will be applicable also to the transport communications passing through Azerbaijan, and respectively Azerbaijan should have the jurisdiction over the roads passing through its territory. Mirzoyan emphasized that the Azerbaijani side did not give a similar response on the subject.

Replying to the question regarding the possible date of the next meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeihun Bayramov noted that such a date has not been agreed yet. Ararat Mirzoyan stated that they are in constant contact with Jeyhun Bayramov, adding that they hope to clarify the dates of the new meeting soon.

"Now we really have a chance for peace."

In response to the question of what opportunities peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan will give to both countries and the region, Ararat Mirzoyan responded: "Talking about the benefits of peace is a little pointless because the benefits of peace are self-evident. This is an indisputable topic."

Mirzoyan noted. "I think our people need peace. Like other people of the world, our people also deserve peace, and none of us is doomed to permanent enmity. Now we really have a chance for peace."

On Armenia-EU relations

In response to the question about strengthening relations between Armenia and the EU, Ararat Mirzoyan noted that Armenia continues to deepen relations with both the EU and European countries in various fields, recalling the existing intensive political dialogue.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia stated that Armenia cooperates with the EU in order to ensure economic stability and diversification of economic resources.

"We want to further deepen our relations with the EU," Mirzoyan said, quoting the following statement by Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Pashinyan: "Armenia is ready to deepen relations with the EU as much as the European Union considers it possible".

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