Press statement of Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan during the joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Croatia19 January, 2024
Dear friend, dear Gordon,
Thank you, Excellency, for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation during this visit. Yesterday I already had fruitful meetings with your Prime Minister and also the Vice President of the Parliament. This follows our previous active engagements: I warmly recall your official visit to Yerevan last February as well as my visit to Croatia last July and our exchanges at the Dubrovnik Forum.
Of course, we should stress that this year is special for our bilateral relations as we mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. During the past three decades our states have made important efforts aimed at developing high-level political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation. I note with satisfaction that our recent reciprocal visits and active interactions reflect the positive dynamics of our bilateral relations as well as the readiness to further enhance our agenda, deepen the cooperation in various fields and different platforms, and, of course, strengthen the ties between our two friendly nations.
During our discussions today, we touched upon a number of issues of bilateral agenda and possibilities to develop cooperation in different sectors, including economy, culture, IT, tourism and education. Along with the development of the political dialogue, there is huge untapped potential in the economic sphere. While the business forum held in Yerevan during the Minister's visit last February was of particular importance, we are keen to promote and expand the trade and economic cooperation to achieve tangible outcomes.
We also discussed the ongoing processes and steps undertaken to further enhance the Armenia-EU partnership. The aspirations of our citizens to see the further deepening of this relationship are based on the shared values upheld by Armenia, Croatia, and the European Union, particularly in the realms of democracy, protection of human rights and other fundamental principles. At the same time, our commitment derives from the vision of a better and more secure environment for our citizens. Thus, with my Croatian counterpart we looked into the whole spectrum of the Armenia-EU relations covering our democratic reform agenda, people-to-people contacts, visa liberalisation dialogue, economic cooperation as well as security matters. In this context, I would like to underline that the Armenia-EU partnership is being enhanced with new dimensions, namely the EU monitoring mission and security dialogue.
Today, we also had the chance to touch upon issues of cooperation in multilateral fora, within international organisations where Armenia and Croatia already have or will further benefit from closer cooperation.
We exchanged views on international and regional security topics. I thoroughly updated my counterpart on the situation in the South Caucasus. As mentioned, we had earlier opportunities to discuss Armenia’s vision of establishing stability and peace in the region, efforts aimed at overcoming the challenges and developing regional connectivity. Unfortunately, we see rhetoric and statements of the high-level Azerbaijani officials that continue challenging the rule-based order, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Armenia and, hence, the prospects of lasting peace in the region.
We believe our partners interested in stability in the South Caucasus share the same approach, that peace requires unwavering commitment and genuine interest in lasting solutions. Armenia’s position has been very clear on possible solutions based on well-known principles and agreements. Countries should recognize each other's territorial integrity without any ambiguity. The peace treaty should provide clear foundations regarding the further delimitation process, which, according to our belief, should take place in accordance with the Alma-Ata Declaration and based on the freshest and legitimate Soviet Union maps. We also are sure that the connectivity that can be unlocked in the region, the economic and transport infrastructures could also help to advance lasting peace in the region. We believe that all the infrastructure should be unlocked according to and under the sovereignty and national jurisdictions of the countries and in accordance with the principles of equality and reciprocity.
Moreover, to promote this idea of peace and connectivity, the Government of the Republic of Armenia came up with the initiative of “Crossroads of Peace”, which is, as I said, about unblocking the infrastructure, increasing the interconnectivity in the region.
Here I would like to stop.
Dear Minister, dear Gordan,
Thank you once again for your invitation and for the comprehensive discussions we had today. And I am confident that these discussions will provide an excellent basis for further partnership and cooperation. Thank you."
Minister Mirzoyan also answered the question from the journalist of Croatia’s public television.
Ararat Mirzoyan: Thank you very much for the question and for your interest. As I said, Armenia is engaged in negotiations with Azerbaijan in good faith and we are more than interested in establishing lasting peace in our region. We believe that this will be beneficial not only for the people of Armenia, but for the countries in the region. However, we see that our constructiveness sometimes does not meet the same constructive approach in the behaviour of our neighbours. We have been engaged in negotiations by facilitation of the European Union, among other facilitators, and nowadays we see that Azerbaijan, unfortunately, refuses to resume the negotiations in the existing frameworks. However, we are interested in continuing our negotiations. As I said, we attach importance not so much to the issue of who facilitates the negotiations, but to the principles, according to which the negotiations should continue. And in this context I would like to emphasize again that those are territorial integrity, recognition of legitimate borders, inviolability of borders, respect for each other’s sovereignty. These are the principles, according to which, I believe, peace should be agreed. When it comes to participation of Croatia or the European Union in general, I would like to express our appreciation that the EU and Croatia has shown in ensuring security in our region along the borderline. I’ve already mentioned the EU’s Monitoring mission, but also I would like to express appreciation that Croatia and other EU countries showed in the context of meeting the urgent needs of the refugees who had to flee Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of military operation several months ago in September 2023.