Lavrov Criticizes PACE on Karabagh

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Says OSCE Co-Chairs Are the Authorized Mediators of Karabagh Conflict

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov, in a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian in Yerevan on Nov. 9, said that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the authorized mediator in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, and that Russia supports Armenia’s commitment to a peaceful settlement to the conflict.

Lavrov and Nalbandian in Yerevan (Photo: Photolure)

Lavrov criticized the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly’s (PACE) efforts to intervene in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict by such measures as their approval last week of a draft resolution that endorses Azerbaijan’s position in the conflict. Lavrov said that such steps will only harm the international peace efforts led by the Minsk Group co-chairs.

“We—[co-chairs] Russia, the United States, and France—are firmly against attempts to take this subject to other international platforms that do not deal with the conflict’s settlement, instead of a consistent, businesslike, and patient dialogue on the Nagorno-Karabagh settlement. At least, nobody has given them such a task on behalf of the international community,” he said during the press conference.

Lavrov also stressed that the parties involved must work to draw out a “mutually beneficial” outcome and that as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, Russia will continue to actively work for a positive outcome in the conflict.

“The [Minsk Group] co-chairs are working on an agreement between the parties based on principles approved by the United Nations Security Council,” Lavrov was quoted as saying in a press statement released by Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. “The three mediating the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict settlement are an authorized body, and any drastic, extreme actions taken by either side can only cause harm and damage co-operation,” he added.

“Azerbaijan is trying to shift discussions on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict to other platforms, other formats,” said Nalbandian. “The OSCE Minsk group is the only authorized mediator on the Nagorno-Karabagh settlement. Armenia’s position is entirely consistent with the position of the co-chairs and other institutions and organizations should not take any steps that could undermine the peace process and escalate tensions in the region.”

During his Nov. 9 working visit to Yerevan, Lavrov was received by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian and held talks with Minister Nalbandian prior to their joint press conference.

Source: Armenian Weekly
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