Remarks of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ara Aivazian during the meeting with Ann Linde, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden

16 March, 2021

Dear Ann,

Let me welcome you and your delegation in Yerevan. We already held a tete-a-tete talks and will continue our discussions in extended format. The OSCE plays an essential role in Armenia’s multilateral cooperation as an organization with European security agenda and arrangements aimed at resolution of conflicts and in this respect your visit in the capacity of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office is indeed timely.

The massive use of force by Azerbaijan opens a new chapter in protracting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and undermining regional peace and stability.

There should be no illusion that the use of force, accompanied by mass atrocities including ethnic cleansing and war crimes, can contribute to conflict resolution. The use of force and its outcomes can be neither stable nor acceptable for ensuring a sustainable and lasting peace in the region. The earliest just settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an immediate imperative for all who are interested in turning the South Caucasus into a peaceful, stable and prosperous region.

Armenia stands ready for the resumption of the peace process, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. Core issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process which have not been reflected in the trilateral statement, remain unresolved. Amongst them is the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination which entails the issue of the status and territories of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Unfortunately, Azerbaijan refuses to implement the trilateral statement as hundreds of the Armenian POW and civilian hostages remain in captivity. After four months of ceasefire Azerbaijan continues to inflict suffering on hundreds of people and their family members subjecting them to physical and psychological pressure. These unacceptable actions are stronger than hollow talks about peace and the end of the conflict.

There are other pressing humanitarian issues to be addressed including the access for humanitarian assistance to Artsakh and protection of Armenian cultural and religious heritage on the territories that fell under the control of Azerbaijan. I will further elaborate on these during our meeting.

Your visit is an opportune occasion to discuss our bilateral agenda as well. Sweden has recently upgraded its mission in Armenia to full-fledged embassy and this certainly attests to the willingness of Sweden to generate new ideas, projects and implement them together to the benefit of our nations.

Once again I would like to welcome you in Yerevan. Thank you.

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