Statement for the press by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan following the meeting with the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Poland Zbigniew Rau

01 April, 2022

Hello, dear colleagues,

I am delighted to host the Foreign Minister of Poland Zbigniew Rau in Armenia in his capacity as the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. Today we have had substantive discussions during our tête-à-tête and enlarged meetings, touching upon the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I presented to my colleague details on the situation resulting from the incursion of the Azerbaijani armed forces into the village of Parukh. We discussed the issues related to the situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan bordering area. We also had a dialogue on a wide range of regional security and stability issues, as well as the priorities and prospects of the Polish chairmanship in the OSCE. I also briefed my colleague on the developments in the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Turkey without preconditions.

Dear Mr. Rau,

Today you are visiting Armenia as the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. I would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate you once again and wish you fruitful work in this responsible mission. Poland's assumption of the chairmanship and leadership of this important organisation coincided with a severe crisis around European security - the military hostilities unfolding in Ukraine. It is clear that the primary attention of the OSCE is riveted to it at the moment, but we expect that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will remain on the agenda of the OSCE. This is especially important these days when Azerbaijan uses geopolitical developments to carry out ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The blatant demonstration of this is the invasion of the village of Parukh in the area of responsibility of the peacekeeping contingent of the Russian Federation in Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan on March 24, which continues to this day. This incursion and incitement of hostilities were preceded by consistent artillery shelling in the direction of Armenian settlements and civilian infrastructure. Azerbaijan has disrupted the operation of the only critical gas pipeline and gas supply to Nagorno-Karabakh amid the cold weather. This incursion is a pre-planned aggression by Azerbaijan, which is a clear defiance to the commitments under the Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020.

In this situation, the clear reaction of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and the international community becomes imperative, and the unhindered involvement of international humanitarian organisations in Nagorno-Karabakh is urgent for the prevention of the humanitarian crisis. We are pleased to note that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries have already made a clear assessment of the recent escalation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, stating that it is a consequence of the movement of the units of Azerbaijani armed forces.

Dear Colleagues,

I should note that more than a year after the end of the 44-day war, Azerbaijan continues to violate international humanitarian law, as well as the Trilateral Statement it signed on November 9, holding the Armenian prisoners of war hostage.

Dear colleagues,

I want to emphasize that Armenia has been standing for an exclusively peaceful settlement of the issues at all stages of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict; and so is today. As you know, Azerbaijan has conveyed certain proposals to the Armenian side, and we considered these proposals acceptable, at the same time underlining that, nevertheless, they do not fully address the whole agenda of the issues. We have completed this agenda with our proposals, adding that the issue of the rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is fundamental for us.

We expect the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship to organize peace talks in the near future with this agenda aimed at concluding a comprehensive peace agreement. We, at least, are consistent in this issue, as well as in the obligations and outlined landmarks within the Trilateral Statements of November 9, 2020, January 11, 2021 and November 26, 2021.

I want to reiterate the readiness of the Armenian side to undertake steps towards increasing the stability in the bordering area, and then to launch the process of demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I would also like to mention that, as you know, consultations are conducted between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the unblocking of transport and economic roads, and here we have come up with proposals and are waiting for Azerbaijan's response. We believe that, both in terms of unblocking economic roads and, more broadly, pursuing a comprehensive peace, with the appropriate position of international partners and, probably, the constructive position of Azerbaijan, we will be able to achieve tangible results.

We also touched upon our bilateral agenda. This year, as with many other countries, marks the 30th anniversary of Armenia-Poland diplomatic relations. I want to end with this happy note and congratulate all of us on this occasion.

Thank You, Mr. Rau, welcome.

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