Statement by the FM of Armenia and answers to journalists' questions during the joint press conference with the FM of Cyprus

07 March, 2024

"Honourable Minister,

My good friend Constantinos,

Dear members of the delegation, attendees,

I am glad to welcome you and your delegation to Yerevan today. Relations between our countries are based on brotherhood, warm relations, mutual understanding, solidarity, and long history. Certainly, high-level contacts between our various agencies and ministries and periodic contacts further strengthen these ties. It should be noted that we have quite a rich bilateral agenda with Cyprus. We also show solidarity and have good partnerships in various international formats and platforms.

Dear attendees,

Today, I expressed my gratitude to my counterpart for the support that we received from Cyprus and continue to receive at the level of executive and legislative powers in all sensitive issues, including related to the territorial integrity of Armenia. I also expressed my gratitude for the help provided to the refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh - as you know, 30 of them had the opportunity to receive rehabilitation in Cyprus - and in general, for the support we constantly receive from Cyprus on international platforms.

I am glad to announce that we have decided to open a diplomatic representation in Cyprus in the near future. We will spare no effort to make it happen this year. I am sure that the most serious diplomatic presence, official presence in the capitals will only encourage and contribute to further strengthening of our relations.

I would like to mention that we have excellent cooperation not only between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and between the executive bodies in general but also at the parliamentary level. 

Certainly, the support I talked about is also significant in terms of Armenia-EU relations. I want to underline that the Republic of Armenia is deepening its relations with the European Union. We have the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, but as you know, together with the EU, we are now trying to see which new tools and mechanisms can be added to our Armenia-EU agenda. We have had the opportunity to speak publicly about several instruments, including, for example, the launch of the Visa Liberalisation Dialogue.      

Dear attendees,

I briefed my counterpart on the latest developments in the negotiations with Azerbaijan. I want to stress that the position of Armenia is consistent and Armenia remains committed to the peace agenda. As you know, there are several key issues here, however the most significant is the mutual recognition of territorial integrity and the subsequent delimitation process based on the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration and the principles set forth therein, thus the 1991 borderline; a principle on which both Armenia and Azerbaijan have repeatedly reached an agreement at the highest level, reaffirmed their commitment to this declaration, for example in Prague, Sochi, Brussels and elsewhere. We believe that the establishment of peace in our region based on this principle will not only be politically beneficial for the countries but will also bring great economic benefits. It is with this understanding that we came up with the "Crossroads of Peace" initiative, according to which the transport infrastructures of the region can be unblocked, having in mind, of course, that the infrastructures of Armenia must remain under the sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia and, of course, the infrastructures of Azerbaijan under its sovereignty, acting under the jurisdiction of both countries. All arrangements must be based on the principles of reciprocity and equality.

As you know, we continue to work with Azerbaijan on these topics, and in case of any progress, you will all be informed accordingly.

Dear colleague,

I would like to express my gratitude once again for your visit. I know your intense schedule, and I am also aware of the most significant challenges in your region. I am aware of the new challenges as well as the initiatives through which Cyprus is trying to contribute to solutions in the region. During that period, you managed to find time to visit your colleagues and your friends here. I thank you for that and welcome you to Armenia." 


Question ("Armenpress" news agency, Anna Grigoryan): I address my question to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. Mr. Minister, you spoke about respecting territorial integrity. As you know, Azerbaijan has violated the territorial integrity of Armenia for a long time, and we see attempts to destabilise the region. What do you think the international community, including the European Union, its member states, Cyprus can do to prevent a possible escalation? Thank you.

Answer (Ararat Mirzoyan): Although the question was not addressed to me, still, I would like to add to what my counterpart said. Of course, we are working on mechanisms for ensuring or guaranteeing further stability, but I want to say that at this moment, and already for a year, the EU civilian monitoring mission is functioning in Armenia, monitoring the interstate border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I should note that since its deployment, this mission has played a significant and essential role in maintaining stability along the entire border. And we also have welcomed the decision of the European Union to expand the mission's mandate, the number of staff members.

Question (Radio Liberty, Astghik Bedevyan): Thank you, Mr. Mirzoyan, the topic I am asking about, has received a lot of attention and has several sub-questions. The Secretary of the Security Council announced that Armenia has informed Moscow that only Armenian border guards should be on duty at “Zvartnots” Airport. Is it solely a matter of physical presence, or should the Russian side not have access to the database of people who depart-arrival, for example? And is it about the "Zvartnots" airport, or does Armenia also refuse the service of Russian border guards at other points, including, for example, at the Armenian-Turkish border? When and how was the Russian side informed, what is the reaction and when will the Russians be replaced? Thank you.

Answer (Ararat Mirzoyan): Well, I don’t think the question has much relevance to Armenia-Cyprus relations, but since we don't have opportunities to meet very often, I will answer your question, of course. Yes, the Russian side was informed about this initiative of the Armenian side. I want to emphasize that from the beginning the presence of the Russian border guards at a number of points, including, for example, at the "Zvartnots" airport, was intended as support for the newly independent Armenian state, and this function should have been relevant depending on Armenia’s needs. And as soon as Armenia builds its institutional capabilities, that function will naturally be fully implemented by Armenia through its respective bodies. And now we think that the Republic of Armenia is institutionally capable of carrying out the border guard service at the "Zvartnots" airport on its own, and we have informed the Russian side about that. I assume that this will be enough for the Russian side, and the issue will be resolved. You asked about the scope of Russia’s presence: as far as I know, we are talking about the full implementation of the powers by Armenia, the whole package. The Armenian side informed the Russian side that, in fact, we no longer feel the need for Russia's support and participation in the border guard service at the "Zvartnots" airport, of course, by thanking them.

Reaction (Radio Liberty, Astghik Bedevyan): And when did you inform them?

Answer (Ararat Mirzoyan): Look, the notification was made through the relevant services, I may not present the technical details correctly, but I think it is not about a long period. The statement was made about "Zvartnots" airport, therefore, we are talking about "Zvartnots".


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