Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   17 June

Armenia’s cooperation with both EU and EEU is result of principled policy, says Sargsyan

YEREVAN, APRIL 6, ARMENPRESS. There is general consensus in our society about our foreign policy, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview for a special edition of Gulf News newspaper and Global FDI Reports about Armenia.

Asked about the most significant foreign policy priorities, the President said: “First, I have to say, that Armenia’s foreign policy has been based on four main dictums: being proactive, being engaged, being consistent and ensuring a firm presence where our interests require it. In the past 10 years we have continued our efforts aimed at finding a peaceful resolution in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and ensuring a sustainable peace between Armenia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan. 

Despite all our efforts and goodwill, supported by the United States, France and Russia, which form the co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group – the main mediation format here – we have a long way to go. Our efforts have been further jeopardized by continuous ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan up to now, the flare-up in August 2014, and the Four Day War of April 2016. It’s unfortunate that the Azerbaijani leadership has long been misled by its oil money and still holds maximalist views on the resolution. 

Sargsyan mentioned that he aspired to open a new chapter in relations with neighboring Turkey during his presidency.

At my initiative, supported by the international community as a whole and under Swiss mediation, we negotiated and signed two protocols in Zurich in October 2009, aimed at opening the common borders and normalising our relations. It’s unfortunate that the Turkish leadership backtracked from the spirit of signed documents and good neighbourly relations and put forward unrelated preconditions for the ratification and implementation. It was due to this position that I had to declare in September 2017 in the UN General Assembly and reiterate at the recent Munich Security Conference that in that unfriendly environment we have no choice but to shelve the documents in the archives of history. On March 1 the National Security Council further deliberated the matter and I signed a decree to terminate the procedures of conclusion of the Zurich protocols. Of course, we may pursue other opportunities in the future when the Turkish leadership matures. “

“In the present volatile international environment, we have remained faithful to our longstanding and principled position of seeking to benefit the common interests of our partners. We firmly believe that it’s our duty to bridge, where possible, the differences of our partners and allies, and not create additional tensions. That would be irresponsible. To that end, I must say, there is general consensus in our society about our foreign policy. It’s a dictum of this patient and principled policy that we chose to participate in both the Eurasian Economic Union – where in fact we became a co-founder – and sign the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU in November 2017. It is dear to our hearts to see our partners cooperating, while we all benefit from such cooperation. We have seen enough contradictions and wars in our history”, President Sargsyan said.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan


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