Ed. Nalbandyan: “The responsibility of all the possible consequences lies on Azerbaijan”

On June 4 Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan hosted the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. After the meeting two officials held joint press-conference. During the press-conference some regional issues were discussed.

Ed. Nalbandyan started with welcoming speech. He especially said: 

“Dear Secretary of State,

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you again in Armenia. Your last visit to Yerevan coincided with July the 4th, the National Day of the United States of America. This visit coincides with the twentieth anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. The coincidence contains a positive symbolism.

Less than two years have passed since your previous visit to Armenia, but during this period we have had several opportunities to meet in Washington and different cities in the frameworks of international conferences. Independent of the month of the year or the place those meetings were held, they were exclusively warm, meaningful and fruitful, containing important and positive messages.  Your visit to Armenia, to the region testifies to the United States authorities’ special attention to the South Caucasus. The meetings between the Armenian and American leaderships, I would underscore the Washington meeting between Presidents Sargsyan and Obama in April 2010, reflect our strong will to deepen our relations.

More than a century-long friendship between our two nations, in which the American-Armenian community has had a special role, was naturally reflected in the two decades long interstate relations.

Madam Secretary, the mutual trust and understanding existing between our two countries thanks to our common efforts, thanks to your personal, invaluable input, are the best pillars for expanding our friendly partnership.

The bilateral cooperation between the United States and Armenia, which has reached the highest point in its history, concerns such important domains as institutional reforms, deepening of democracy, rule of law, modernization of economy. We have also close interaction in the international arena covering regional and international security, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, fight against all forms of terrorism, peacekeeping operations from Kosovo to Afghanistan and other global challenges.

The United States, as a Co-Chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group, has provided its permanent support to the process of the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This process has been under the constant attention of the President and State Secretary of the United States of America. Together with the two other Co-Chair countries, the United States, deployed intensive efforts and adopted several high level important joint statements on the settlement of that issue.

Dear State Secretary, more than once we have expressed our common approach on the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. That position has been and remains the normalization of relations without preconditions. You have made an exclusive contribution to this process. Unfortunately, the ball continues to remain in the Turkish court.

20 years ago Secretary James Baker noted that free, democratic, independent Armenia, as the United States of America, shares the same values – democracy, liberty, market economy, defense of human rights. During those 20 years the United States has strongly supported Armenia. Today humanitarian assistance is gradually turning into development projects and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Dear Secretary, we express our gratitude to the President Obama’s administration and to you personally for your commitment and remarkable contribution in the strengthening of Armenian-American friendly partnership. I hope that the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations will open new, wider horizons in bilateral relations.

I would like once again to welcome you, dear State Secretary, and your delegation to Armenia.

The floor is yours. Please”.

Then the journalists asked their questions.

“Turkish high-ranking officials are claiming that there somewhat negotiations are being conducted on Armenian-Turkish normalization. Are those claims corresponding to the reality?”, Mr. Nalbandyan was asked.

Negotiations are not conducted, negotiations cannot be conducted, as the negotiations are over and they had resulted in signing of the protocols, which Turkey refuses to respect and implement, trying to put forward preconditions. Turkey has no right to put preconditions in this issue. This position is shared by the international community.

I want to add that we strongly condemn the violent provocations that are organized by the Azerbaijani side on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border which, unfortunately, resulted in victims and wounded, and that Azerbaijan is not satisfied by the fact that every day there are violations by Azerbaijanis on the line of contact of Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. They are trying to transfer the tension, to sharpen the situation onto the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan which greatly undermines the negotiation process, as well as it is threatening the regional stability. The responsibility of all the possible consequences of all this lies on Azerbaijan”, Mr. Nalbandyan concluded.

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