YEREVAN (Armenpress)-Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian is ready to meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian told reporters on Thursday.
Sarkisian will be heading the Armenian delegation at NATO’s next summit on April 3 in Bucharest, Romania. Oskanian said. According to the Foreign Minister, Sarkisian is ready to meet with Azeri Presient Ilham Aliyev on the summit’s sidelines if the offer is extended by the OSCE or the Azerbaijani Government.
"We think that the NATO summit in Bucharest is the first convenient opportunity for the meeting," Oskanian said. "If the mediators make the suggestion and the Azerbaijani side agrees, the Armenian president-elect is ready for the meeting," Vartan Oskanian said."
Oskanian said international peace brokers from the OSCE Minsk group are interested immediately resuming the Karabakh talks as soon as possible. Oskanian said he would discuss these issues during his meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in Vienna Friday.
Oskanian said that Sarkisian is ready to continue the negotiations based on the basic principles of a Karabakh settlement proposed by the OSCE late last year.
Oskanian also spoke to reporters about the draft resolutions on Karabakh that Azerbaijan will be presenting to the United Nation’s General Assembly on Friday
Armenia considers the adoption of such a resolution by the UN as counterproductive, especially when peace-talks have not exhausted all the possibilities, according to Oskanian. The Foreign Minister said he intends to discuss the question with the OSCE Co-Chairs.
"Even in case it is adopted, the resolution will have no legal importance, and Azerbaijan’s policy on this issue is like self-delusion," Oskanian added.
Oskanian urged also told reporters not to politicize the recent arrest of people on criminal charges. Okanian’s remarks came in response to calls from international organizations to release those arrested in connection with the clashes between police and protestors on March 1-2.
The Foreign Minister informed that on March 14-15 he will hold a number of meetings with the leaders of the European Union within the framework of the annual Brussels Forum in Brussels, and will discuss the situation in Armenia during those meetings.
"It’s hard to consider the state of emergency announced in Armenia a normal development," he said as he underscored the necessity of a dialogue between the authorities and opposition.
But we missed the appropriate moment for a dialogue, he said.
In other news, Armenian President Robert Kocharian lifted media restrictions imposed in a state of emergency declared after clashes broke out between protestors and police early in March. A ban on public meetings and strikes remains in place.
Kocharian’s new decree, expected to take effect Friday, allows independent media to report on domestic political issues and lifts restrictions on party campaigning.
According to Kocharian’s Press Office, the revised decree bars mass media outlets from publicizing or disseminating obvious lies connected with state and domestic issues, destabilizing information, calls to participate in illegal arrangemen’s," according to the emergency rule amendmen’s.
It also prohibits the publication or dissemination of subversive information through other means as well as the participation in unsanctioned (illegal) events.