President Sargsyan’s attendance at the Munich Security Conference ‘had strategic significance’ – Richard Giragosian

15:09 • 20.02.18



President Serzh Sargyan was invited to the Munich Security Conference in a sign of Armenia’s increasing strategic significance, Richard Giragosian, the director of the Regional Studies Center, said Monday, commenting on the Armenian leader’s attendance at the prominent annual event.


Speaking to Tert.am, the expert noted that the president was the first speaker on a panel that included Prime Minister Pavel Filip of Moldova, Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Konstantin Kosachev, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council of the Parliament of the Russian Federation), and moderated by Ian Bremmer, the President and Founder, Eurasia Group; moderator, there are several observations from the Armenian president’s speech.


Giragosian highlighted particularly several topical remarks voiced in the president’s address.


“First, in an eloquent opening, the Armenian president noted that although some say that ‘geography is destiny,’ he added that he thinks that ‘it is also biography,’ noting that in the Armenian experience ‘geopolitical competition bears nothing good,’ adding that for Armenia, being ‘at the intersection: of interests of other geopolitical actors and powers is ‘both a challenge and an opportunity.


“President Sargsyan went on to note that for ‘small nations’ like Armenia, cooperation is key and stressed that the founding Helsinki principles that gave birth to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) must be recognized, although Azerbaijan is in flagrant denial and opposition to even the spirit of these principles.


“Third, regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he explained that a peaceful, negotiated resolution is necessary ‘as soon as possible,’ with Russia, the EU and the US  having the chance to coordinate their positions in support of peace and stability. Defending the decision to join the Eurasian Economic Union, the president hailed the success of a new strategic agreement with the EU, which he said was a significant achievement,” he said.


Giragosian also praised the president’s criticism of Turkey “for failing to reopen the closed border with Armenia and for putting forth artificial and unrelated preconditions.”   


“He further noted that the lack of political will by Turkey means that ‘we cannot wait eternally for Turkey.’ 


“And fifth, most notably as a test of his patience, the president handled an aggressive question from a junior Azerbaijani diplomat with skill and honesty.” he said.   

Hripsime Hovhannisyan





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