09, 2012

President Sargsyan’s remarks at the meeting with the OSCE Ambassadors

Distinguished Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am glad to greet you in the Presidential Palace and welcome you to Armenia.

OSCE is a very important organization for Armenia not only because this Organization has in its framework several institutions – the Minsk Group, the High-level Planning Group, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office’s Personal Representative – all of them dealing with the Nagorno Karabakh problem, but also because the OSCE principles and the comprehensive concept of security fully correspond to our vision. It is extremely important that in the framework of this Organization we agreed that security of one country cannot be provided at the expense of security of another country. We meticulously implement all our commitments.

However, recently an event has taken place, which makes us to seriously reconsider some of our approaches. As you know, in Azerbaijan pardon was immediately granted to a creature which committed a horrendous crime; unfortunately, in our view this event was not the last case in a row. Everything started when in 2007 the OSCE Minsk Group presented its proposal for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Many would recall how Azerbaijan rejected the document; then it made a declarative statement that the document in general was acceptable, but afterwards it was trying to give its own interpretations to the principles enshrined in the document. You can recall how they were trying to interpret the people’s right to self-determination. You remember how they were trying to interpret the term “referendum.” And then a show began which was meant to gain time, to accumulate huge amount of armaments so that at the opportune moment the Nagorno Karabakh conflict could be solved through the military means.

In our view, pardoning a murderer was not intended to increase Aliyev’s rating at home – it was an attempt to test the response of the international community to Azerbaijan’s outrageous moves. It cannot be any other way because in Azerbaijan and among its leadership, there are, I believe, many people who could clearly see the consequences such a move could have entailed. And the testing of the international community’s patience, as I said, has started long ago: many years ago, when Azeris began to blatantly violate the obligations provided by the CFE Treaty (Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe), and nobody responded to those blatant violations. When the Azeri President publicly instructed his Academia to write a history for Azerbaijan where Armenians must not be mentioned at all, nobody paid attention to that fact. When Aliyev stated publicly that Yerevan and the entire territory of Armenia is the Azeri soil, nobody reacted to that statement. When Aliyev declared publicly that their number one enemy is the Armenian people world-wide and that the enemy must be destroyed, again there was no retort. In response to all our warnings, all requests we have made to the Co-chairs, to the rest of the world that it was a beginning of a very dangerous process we were receiving improper responses that Aliyev’s statements were meant for domestic consumption. Such a discrepancy between the domestic and external audiences simply cannot be true – a person cannot think one way in the morning, and another way in the evening; one way on Monday, and another way on Thursday. Seeing such lenience toward these statements, Aliyev took up actions. The first one took place during the regional visit of the US Secretary of State: several subversive actions were instigated not only on the Line of Contact but also at the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. And again the response was a weak one. And as I have said, unfortunately, this is not the end of it.

You know that I went through the war – that is why I do not want a new war. I personally felt on my own skin the consequences of the war, its impact. And I believe that no State concerned with security in our region wants a war either. However, that desire is not enough – actions should be and those actions must begin with calling spade a spade. The so-called “diplomatic correctness” in this case is simply detrimental for the security of this region.

Recently, in Armenia a sarcastic joke appeared. It sounds like this: after these events, the international X organization calls upon Armenia and Azerbaijan not to axe each other in sleep. And this is not a joke to cheer you up; it reflects our people’s attitude towards those international organizations which are trying to introduce parity between the victim and the perpetrator, between the guilty and the innocent. And that is extremely bad. I request you, I urge your Governments and our Organization to substantially deal with this issue.

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