A senior Armenian diplomat has met with the secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for talks that apparently touched upon the planned launch of commercial flights from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Armenia’s ambassador to Canada, Armen Yeganian, and Raymond Benjamin, the ICAO’s Montreal-based secretary general, “addressed in detail a number of issues relating to the safety of civil aviation in the South Caucasus.” The ministry gave no details of the meeting which it said took place late last week.
The meeting followed a renewed Armenian-Azerbaijani war of words over the the reopening of a newly reconstructed airport near the Karabakh capital Stepanakert. Earlier this month, Azerbaijan renewed its threats to forcibly halt planned Yerevan-Stepanakert flights.
The authorities in Stepanakert and Yerevan brushed aside the threats. General Movses Hakobian, the commander of Karabakh’s Armenia-backed army, warned that his forces are capable of destroying air targets deep inside Azerbaijani territory.
The United States responded by urging both sides to seek a “diplomatic solution” to the potentially dangerous row “in keeping with the relevant international agreements”.
The ICAO was set up by the United Nations in 1944 to regulate international air traffic. It sets standards and regulations for aviation safety.