Remarks and answers of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan to the questions of journalists at the joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar13 October, 2021
Hello, Dear colleagues.
I am glad to welcome my counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs of India Jaishankar and the delegation led by him in Armenia. This is the first and quite awaited visit of Foreign Minister of India to Armenia. This visit demonstrates the widening and deepening relations between two friendly states and nations, and will undoubtedly promote Armenian-Indian cooperation in all spheres. This is in the interest of our two states and nations.
I should state at once that India is one of Armenia’s most important partners, and the further strengthening of cooperation is among Armenia’s poreign policy priorities. This can also be seen in the program of the Armenian Government, approved by the National Assembly. I would like to highly commend the agreements reached during our today’s meeting and once again reiterate the readiness of the Armenian side to undertake concrete steps aimed at speedy implementation of all agreements.
Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations; it is an anniversary and we should undertake steps to raise our relations in the political, economic, defence, cultural spheres to a new level.
Our cooperation within the international organizations will continue to deepen and our mutual support will be strengthened. We congratulate India on its effective presidency in the UN Security Council. Regarding the UN Security Council reforms, we reaffirm Armenian position and support towards India in the issue of obtaining permanent membership of the Security Council.
As the world’s biggest democracy, large and fast-growing economy, as well as a country having a state policy of peace, India can contribute to the stability, development and peace. We appreciate India’s principal position and continuous support for peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.
Armenia has repeatedly stated that the use of force cannot be a foundation for conflict resolution and that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should receive its comprehensive solution through peaceful negotiations, under the internationally mandated framework of OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, based on well-known principles. We highly appreciate the statement by the Foreign Ministry in May of this year, underlining that Azerbaijani armed forces should withdraw from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. From our side we reiterate the Armenian position of supporting India in the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
Our positions also coincide on the issues of fight against terrorism, inadmissibility and condemnation of transfering extremism and mercenaries to the conflict zone.
In reference to our bilateral agenda, I would like to highlight that cooperation between Armenia and India develops in the spheres of trade, education, culture, healthcare, science, defence and human exchanges.
Our expectations regarding bilateral cooperation are much higher and once again, during this meeting we have reached concrete agreements on the implementation of much more tangible and effective programs in a number of spheres. We also offered to hold bilateral political consultations and a regular joint session of the Intergovernmental Commission.
We once again express our gratitude to the Indian side for the technical and humanitarian assistance.
Dear Mr. Minister, I wanted to inform our colleagues about the invitation and I will gladly visit your wonderful country. As agreed, during the visit I will be accompanied by representatives of other Ministries, as well as representatives of business, particularly high-tech communities, for implementing the agreements reached today.
Public TV: Mr. Mirzoyan, the Indian side mentioned two major transport initiatives at the time: the Persian Gulf- Black Sea and the North-South transport corridors. Have you discussed these two major projects? Is there any progress? How can this affect the Armenian-Indian trade indexes? As Mr. Minister has mentioned, there was a problem of accessibility.
Ararat Mirzoyan: Thank you for the question. As indicated in Mr. Jaishankar’s and my welcoming remarks, we touched upon the issue of infrastructure in the larger region, and that also refers to the North-South corridor. Minister Jaishankar mentioned himself that both Armenia and India are interested in implementation and improvement of this initiative. We also discussed the recent positive developments around the port of Chabahar, the issue of establishment of direct road communication between Armenia and India, as well as further transit transfers to the North from Armenia - through Georgia to Russia, and maybe also through the Black Sea to Europe. This is an integral part of our agenda. As for the Persian Gulf- Black Sea initiative, I can provide the most up-to-date information; we discussed this issue with the Iranian side yesterday, and I can say that the events are developing quite dynamically around this agreement. Hopefully, we will have a signed agreement on this in the near future.
Arminfo.am: My question is addressed to you, Mr. Mirzoyan, and refers to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I would like to know whether there is a planned meeting of you with the Co-Chairs, and with your Azerbaijani counterpart, under their auspices, as a follow-up to your New York meeting.
Ararat Mirzoyan: Thank you for the question. The other day I had the opportunity to refer to this in the Parliament in response to the questions of the MPs. I should commend the fact that in New York, within the framework of or in parallel to the regular session of the UN General Assembly, a meeting was held on the initiative of the Co-Chairs separately with the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers, which was followed by the joint meeting. I want to state that Armenia welcomes the resumption of peaceful negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. We see the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict only through peaceful negotiations under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. Concrete agreements were reached during the meeting: first, to discuss and try to resolve the humanitarian issues, such as the release of Armenian prisoners of war, further clarification of the condition of missing servicemen and civilians and works on this regard, accessibility of Armenian cultural monuments currently fallen under the control of Azerbaijani armed forces, as well as a number of other issues. Then, in the future, to start discussions on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh - the main element of the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. The scheduled meeting of the Co-Chairs to the region was also discussed. Soon we will know a clarified position regarding this issue and will be able to have a clear answer. Meetings are scheduled; an agreement to continue the process, to organize a new meeting, at least, has been reached.