CSTO ministerial statement counterblow to Azerbaijan – Armenian parliament official  

14:47 • 06.07.16



The statement, which the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) foreign ministers adopted recently in Yerevan, protects Armenia’s interests, giving a serious counterblow to Azerbaijan, says the Armenian National Assembly’s vice speaker.

“Both the president of the Republic of Armenia and we, as representatives of the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly (including me as the president), have repeatedly emphasized its importance, saying that the CSTO member countries must exclusively seek to protect one another’s interests on international platforms,” Eduard Sharmazanov, who heads the national delegation to the CSTO, told our correspondent.

 

Describing the statement as the result of the Armenian president’s flexible and strict policy line, Sharmazanov said he finds all the clauses contained therein pivotal and remarkable. “The statement defines the CSTO foreign ministers' official stance, i.e. – that they accept the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved exclusively through peaceful methods, based upon the three well known principles [of international law, i.e. - territorial integrity, non-use of force or threat of force and] most importantly, peoples’ right to self-determination. All the CSTO member states – including Kazakhstan whose president has always stood out with a pro-Azerbaijani stance – reaffirmed here in Yerevan that the right to self-determination is inevitable.”

The parliament official also called attention to another clause which he said is also very important. “It is clearly outlined in the statement that the problem must be resolved within the co-chairmanship’s format. So now wonder that both Turkey and Azerbaijan, and Turkic speaking countries have always wished to increase Turkey’s role in this region, pushing it through as either a party to, or a mediator in, the conflict settlement process. With this statement, both Russia, as a co-chairing state, and Kazakhstan and Belarus, which maintain good relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey, reaffirm that the problem must be resolved only within the Minsk Group format. Turkey has nothing to do here,” Sharmazanov added.

 

Another key moment, he said, was that the ministers re-emphasized the importance of implementing the agreements reached in Vienna and St Petersburg.

 

“This is a clear response to Azerbaijan’s non-constructive statements, made after the St Petersburg [meeting] when the country stepped aside, almost refusing to deploy the [ceasefire] investigation mechanisms outlined in the Vienna document. The Russian Federation, as a co-chairing state, was the first to express its disagreement to the official Baku, highlighting the confidence-building mechanisms as a priority.”

 

“Both Russia and Kazakhstan used to have a maximum neutral position, pursuing at times a pro-Azerbaijani policies. But they affirmed the principles backed by the Armenian side. This can be considered a success. We haven’t probably noticed that in the political hustle and bustle, but the CSTO foreign ministers’ statement was really a counterblow to Azerbaijan’s official position at least with respect to three clauses,” he added.

Hripsime Hovhannisyan





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