By Emil Danielyan
Armenia joined Russia and four other former Soviet states on Wednesday in calling for a political solution to the crisis over Iraq based on United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The security chiefs of the six nations making up the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty said in a joint statement that they support the "resolution of the situation (in Iraq) by diplomatic and political means in strict accordance with UN Security Council resolutions."
The statement was issued at the conclusion of their meeting in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, AFP reported. The news agency quoted Russian Security Council chief Vladimir Rushailo as saying that Russia's leadership has been working closely in the past few weeks to try to find a mutually acceptable formula on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions to the situation in Iraq.
"We all understand that we should not allow those actions which would push the world's development in the direction of a deepening of confrontation," Rushailo added.
Armenia, which was represented at the Bishkek meeting by Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, had already voiced objections to U.S. plans to launch a military campaign against Iraq. Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said in September that the international dispute over Baghdad’s weapons of mass destruction programs should be settled peacefully.
“I would like to express the hope that there will be no military action [against Iraq],” Oskanian said at the time, warning of “negative consequences” for the region of a U.S.-led attack on Iraq.
Oskanian had personally opened the Armenian embassy in Baghdad in February 2001 and met with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein the next day.