Statement by the Foreign Minister of Armenia and answers to journalists' questions during the joint press conference with the Foreign Minister of Hungary

06 May, 2024

“Honourable Mr. Minister, dear Péter,

I am very glad to be here. Thank you very much for the warm welcome and invitation. This visit follows your visit to Yerevan last fall and is the result of a path we took together a year and a half ago. A path meant to overcome the existing challenges, to start the Armenian-Hungarian relations from a new starting point. Relations that are based on historical warm mutual sympathy, relations that are based on common values. And I am really glad to see the results of this process already. As I mentioned, we had agreed to open diplomatic missions in the capitals: Budapest and Yerevan. Today we are already talking about resident embassies.

Today, we signed a document on political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, as well as a document on economic cooperation, which provides for the creation of an intergovernmental commission. We also recently had a joint economic conference, where our business representatives also had the opportunity to talk about possible new cooperation.

Of course, we cannot but emphasize the mutual visits of people and direct contacts between them, and in this regard, of course, I share the importance you gave to the direct flights established by "Wizz Air" between Yerevan and Budapest. I am sure that this flight will attract a lot of interest from both Armenian and Hungarian tourists.

Of course, economic cooperation is extremely important in our relations and international relations in general. I want to inform you once again and say to the public once again about Armenia's understanding of the importance of international economic programs and the desire to be part of these international economic programs. I want to talk about the "Crossroads of Peace" initiative of the Government of Armenia. This is an initiative that aims at unblocking all transport and not only transport hubs, connections, and infrastructures in our region - the South Caucasus. This will make it possible to facilitate passenger, cargo and services transportation from East to West, including the territory of Armenia. In the same context, we are also considering the issue of renewable energy supply by Armenia to EU member states. There are specific initiatives and programs in this regard which are still under discussion or will soon be implemented. And Armenia, of course, wants to be part of all these initiatives.

I also want to mention the second factor which is extremely important for economic prosperity and cooperation. That is peace. I want to use this opportunity once again to reaffirm Armenia's commitment to the establishment of lasting, stable peace in the South Caucasus. We are constructively involved in the negotiations, the purpose of which is to finally normalize the relations with the neighbors, in particular with Azerbaijan, to put an end to the long-lasting conflict. There are a number of principles: mutual recognition of territorial integrity and delimitation based on the Alma-Ata Declaration signed in 1991 and the principles enshrined therein. I have already mentioned the unblocking of infrastructures, and I hope that in the near future, we will be able to record very concrete results here as well.

Of course, the mentioned issues are part of the Armenia-European Union agenda, in addition to bilateral and regional formats. You know, I'm sure, that we are in a process which brings the Republic of Armenia significantly and noticeably closer to the European Union and the European Union to the Republic of Armenia. A new package of initiatives is currently on our agenda, on our bilateral table, and we will greatly rely on the upcoming Hungarian presidency in the EU Council. We are sure that the issues and planned programs will move forward with tangible steps also during your presidency.

Thank you again for the invitation and for the warm welcome. I am sure that this visit, as well as your previous visit to Yerevan, allowed us to take another tangible step towards the development of our relations."




Question: Hello. I am from the State Information Agency of Azerbaijan, and my question is addressed to Mr. Mirzoyan. Over the past few years, there have been several exchanges of proposals of the draft treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Recently, your country presented the 9th version of the proposed amendments to the peace treaty [clarification of the MFA of Armenia: as the spokesperson of the MFA of Armenia stated on April 26, the Armenian side received the proposals of the Azerbaijani side regarding the draft peace treaty, the 9th edition, they are under consideration by the Armenian side], and it seems like "ping-pong diplomacy" when the ball is passed from one field to another. My question concerns the upcoming meeting with your Azerbaijani counterpart in Almaty. How far or maybe close are the two countries to finalizing the peace treaty, and will it be possible to finally sign the peace treaty this year? And, if possible, could you mention which points still indicate the differences between the two countries? Thank you.

Question: (sent by Armenian media) What are the expectations from the upcoming negotiations in Almaty?

Answer: Thank you for the questions. I want to commence again by reaffirming Armenia's commitment to the peace agenda. As I mentioned, we are engaged in the negotiations sincerely, constructively and with goodwill, and we are sure that the establishment of final peace is in the interests of both countries - Armenia and Azerbaijan, and in the interests of both peoples. And I also want to express cautious optimism regarding the upcoming negotiations.

As far as I noticed, you called our meetings and negotiations on the peace treaty "ping-pong diplomacy", maybe jokingly, maybe sarcastically, but within the same "ping-pong diplomacy" we have already managed to agree on many articles and issues. You also know that parallel processes are taking place․ Օur border commissions are meeting and already started the delimitation process, agreed on the principle. The leaders of our two countries have had many meetings and have again agreed on several key issues, for example, the most important thing I would mention is that the two countries mutually reaffirmed the recognition of each other's territorial integrity on the basis of the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. Also the delimitation should take place in accordance with the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. Already, as I mentioned, this is reflected in the work of the border commissions, and there is an agreement to reflect it on the basis of the Regulation regarding the delimitation process, etc.

Here, I think and want to express cautious optimism that we, with my Azerbaijani counterpart, will also manage to reach an agreement or clearly reflect this same commitment and principle in the peace treaty as well. I can say that then we will be very close to the final normalization.

Of course, there are more questions, for example, I just spoke about the unblocking of the transport infrastructures of the region. Here we still do not have a full mutual understanding, but we have, for example, the interest of Armenia to open all transport infrastructures with Azerbaijan, based on the sovereignty of the countries, national jurisdiction, and according to the principles of reciprocity and equality. Here are the issues where I think we will manage to reach an agreement sooner or later because already, in the case of the leaders of the countries, as I mentioned, and in the case of the Deputy Prime Ministers, there is a certain understanding. Now, if we manage to clearly enshrine all this in the peace treaty, we can say that we are reaching a lasting peace.

But I want to take this opportunity and also thank the Hungarian side again for their contribution to the solution of a number of issues, for example, humanitarian issues. We remember how the Armenian prisoners of war were freed from captivity with the efforts of the Hungarian side, and we know that the Hungarian side continues its efforts to release prisoners of war and civilian hostages and settle humanitarian issues, as well as humanitarian assistance to refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh, for example, in the organization of camps for children, as well as in the preservation of Armenian cultural heritage.

Thank you.

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