Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the joint session of the CSTO statutory bodies08 November, 2018
On November 8, acting Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan took part in a joint session of the CSTO Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Council of Ministers of Defence, and the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils.
The agenda of the session included questions related to cooperation within the CSTO framework, regional and international security, and coordination of foreign policy by member states of the organization on the international stage. The latest developments in Afghanistan, Syria and the Middle East were touched upon.
In his remarks, acting Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan thanked his Kazakh counterpart for successful Presidency in the CSTO and expressed Armenia’s support for the priorities of the upcoming Kyrgyz Presidency which are aimed at deepening the cooperation and increasing the effectiveness of the Organization.
Referring to issues on the agenda of the session, the acting Foreign Minister reiterated Armenia’s commitment to continuing the process of strengthening the defensive potential of CSTO member states and solidifying the efforts aimed at countering contemporary challenges and threats.
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted that Armenia attaches great importance to joint and comprehensive efforts to counter extremism and international terrorism. He specifically drew the attention to dangers posed by members of international terrorist organizations, who have participated in armed conflicts, returning to their countries of origin or citizenship. Mnatsakanyan noted that this issue poses a serious challenge to international security and that we should be ready to take appropriate measures to respond to these risks.
The acting Foreign Minister also expressed concern over the situation in the Middle East and Syria, in particular, as well as the challenges facing ethnic and religious minorities as a result of the actions of terrorist groups.
Mnatsakanyan placed great importance on steps aimed at increasing the peacekeeping potential of the CSTO and strengthening the cooperation with the United Nations.
Touching upon the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the acting Foreign Minister underlined that the new Armenian government had repeatedly reiterated its commitment to an exclusively peaceful resolution of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmanship. The acting Foreign Minister attached importance to the meeting of the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan during the CIS summit in Dushanbe. He further noted that in the meeting the sides managed to reach agreements, implementation of which would contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to the peace process.
The acting Foreign Minister highlighted that the question of the security and status of Artsakh continues to be among Armenia’s top priorities, emphasizing the importance of involvement of Artsakh in the process with a decisive role.
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan also underscored the importance of renunciation of bellicose rhetoric, noting that such rhetoric adds to increasing of animosity and distrust in the region. He stressed that the issue of arms race is pressing and very troubling, which does not contribute to the resolution of the conflict.
At the joint ministerial session, a number of decisions were signed and resolutions were approved for presentation to the upcoming session of the Collective Security Council, planned for the evening of November 8th.