Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 April

Italian OSCE Chairmanship committed to pursue political, sustainable solution for NK conflict – exclusive interview

YEREVAN, MARCH 7, ARMENPRESS. Italy, which chairs the OSCE in 2018, will spare no effort to help and facilitate an agreement between the parties of the NK conflict to reach a sustainable and negotiatied solution, press officer for the Italian OSCE Chairmanship Giovanni Davoli told ARMENPRESS in an exclusive interview.

Italy assumed the OSCE chairmanship starting January, 2018. What will be the priorities of Italy’s chairmanship in the OSCE?

As outlined by Foreign Minister Alfano to the OSCE Permanent Council on 11 January, the priorities for our Chairmanship are as follows: following on from the action of previous Chairmanships, full support for seeking a solution to the crisis in and around Ukraine and the protracted conflicts in the OSCE area. In this context, Minister Alfano carried out a mission to Ukraine (30-31 January 2018), including a visit to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Donbass, and to Moscow (1 February), in his quality as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office; greater attention in the OSCE to the challenges and opportunities arising in the Mediterranean, in particular promoting a more defined role for the OSCE on migration, as underlined at the Mediterranean Conference chaired by Minister Alfano in Palermo on 24 – 25 October 2017; a proactive approach to the OSCE’s three “dimensions” (politico-military, economic-environmental, human rights) and on new transnational threats (terrorism, cybersecurity, combatting illegal trafficking in arms, drugs, cultural goods, and hazardous waste)

As acting Chairman of the OSCE, what prospects do you see for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict?

The elements for a solution to the crisis have all already been laid out at the negotiating table, thanks to the focused commitment of the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group. The validity of the approach so far adopted is therefore fully confirmed: when both parties have been engaged at the top political level, through direct contacts between the two Presidents, we have witnessed positive developments. In this respect, we are in favor and encourage further contacts at the highest level, being aware that the political will of the parties is key in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.

Will you have any separate initiative, which might boost the negotiations over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement?

The Italian Chairmanship of the OSCE is committed to pursue a political, negotiated and sustainable solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We will act in the vein and consistently with the previous OSCE Chairmanships to support the Co-chairs of the Minsk Group. No effort will be spared on our side to help and facilitate an agreement between the parties, in accordance with the Madrid principles and the Helsinki Final Act.

How would you assess the current level of the Armenian-Italian relations? How do you assess the political dialogue, what are the prospects in terms of boosting economic ties?

Our bilateral relations with Armenia are excellent and based on solid historic and cultural ties. We consider Armenia a close friend and a reliable partner in the region, both at the political and economic level. The intensity of our relations is proved by many important initiatives organized throughout 2017, such as the first session of the Joint Economic Commission, held in Rome last June. As far as the economic ties are concerned, there are many complementarities between our economies. At the same time, we believe there are broad margins to further increase our cooperation, especially in the industrial sector and bilateral trade. We will therefore work to strengthen these ties both at the institutional and promotional level, to the benefit of our civil societies and enterprises.

Interview by Araks Kasyan

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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