YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Problems like that are Georgia’s domestic politics–and the Georgian authorities should make a decision on this issue," Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said in an interview with the National TV–while presenting Armenia’s position regarding recent events in Javakhk.
During his recent meetings with Georgian leaders the Armenian foreign minister pointed out that Armenia’s authorities bear moral responsibility before the Armenian public of Javakhk and can’t remain indifferent to their situation–future and welfare. The need for cooperation between the two countries under given circumstances was stressed.
Oskanian–who visited Georgia a few days after the known events–reported that the Georgian side has never accused the Armenian community of Javakhk or its representatives of the above-mentioned events. According to the preliminary agreement–in case of conducting military exercises the Georgian side was to have informed the Armenian community. "Shevarnadze admitted the mistake and thinks that representatives of the Armenian community acted correctly–and there are no problems," Oskanian said.
Oskanian also pointed out that both Armenian and Georgian authorities were concerned over the statement made by a representative of the "Javakhk" union containing a demand for autonomy. He said that there are forces which are interested in destabilizing the situation in Russia and those interested in driving a wedge between Georgia and Armenia. "We should be wary of it and must prevent the Armenian community of Javakhk from being used for such purposes," the Armenian foreign minister said.
Oskanian stressed that at present he sees no danger to the Armenian-Georgian relations.
Also last week–Oskanian met with the parliamentary delegation of Finland that was on a fact-finding visit to Armenia last week. Delegation members–who represented the four main political parties of Finland–described the current level of bilateral relations between Finland and Armenia as below satisfactory–pointing out the need for developing cooperation between the two nations.
Briefing the guests on the results of his recent visits to Georgia and Iran–Oskanian stressed the importance of Armenia’s relations with these countries. Georgia–cooperation with which is being described as strategic partnership–is a link between Armenia and Europe in conditions of the absence of relations with neighboring Turkey and Azerbaijan. The minister also referred to the important role of Iran in conducting large-scale regional energy and infrastructural programs and praised that country’s balanced approach to the Karabakh settlement.
Oskanian reiterated that Armenia is seeking closer relations with Europe and this is one of the major trends of the country’s foreign policy. Efforts to become closer to Europe are being made within various structures–such as under NATO’s Partnership For Peace Program–as well as within the Council of Europe–the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.