Armenia wants officials in Tbilisi to show a balanced approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan said on March 14 as he met with visiting Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili.
Speaking at a meeting with the Zourabichvili-led delegation, Mirzoyan stressed the fact that as a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Georgia has also joined the Minsk Group format for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that is co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France. “Therefore, we should make efforts to ensure that balanced and neutral wordings from now on be also guidelines in all statements relating to Nagorno-Karabakh,” Mirzoyan said, as quoted by the Armenian parliament’s press service.
In this context, the top Armenian legislator voiced concerns over the October 29, 2018 statement by the foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, in which only one principle of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict reflecting Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was mentioned. “Meanwhile, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship shows a more balanced and versatile approach in this matter,” said Mirzoyan.
Mirzoyan also raised Yerevan’s concerns over Zourabichvili’s statements during her latest visit to Azerbaijan.
During her meeting with President Ilham Aliyev while on an official visit to Baku in February the Georgian president, in particular, said that Azerbaijan and Georgia had gone through the same problems. “Today, we know what occupation means for a country and what it is when your territorial integrity is not restored yet. Lines of contact with occupied lands are open wounds that hinder our development. Nevertheless, despite these tragedies, we have managed to strengthen and develop our economies,” Zourabichvili said then, implying the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Mirzoyan said that the Georgian president’s statements had caused concerns in the Armenian society.
“All international structures, and I will also refer to the European Union, draw a clear distinction between the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and other conflicts,” the Armenian parliament speaker emphasized.
Zourabichvili was in Armenia on a two-day official visit on March 13-14 at the invitation of her Armenian counterpart Armen Sarkissian.
During the joint press conference of the two presidents on March 13, Sarkissian also spoke about regional conflicts, stressing that “Armenia and Georgia are unanimous in their opinion that conflicts in the region are not identical and the grounds for their settlement are not identical.”
Zourabichvili, for her part, said that for Georgia, a country that hosts sizable Armenian and Azerbaijani communities, it is important that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh should not be shifted onto its territory. “It is very important for us that Georgian citizens of Armenian and Azerbaijani descents live in peace and be integrated into the political, economic and cultural life of Georgia,” she said.
While in Yerevan the Georgian president also met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Garegin (Karekin) II.