ARF Rep: Armenian account of Vienna meeting credible

Photo: Photolure

Director of the International Secretariat of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau in Yerevan Giro Manoyan got a “dual impression” from the May 16 meeting between Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

During a press conference in Yerevan on Wednesday, Manoyan said that on the one hand during the Vienna meeting the mediators represented by the OSCE Minsk Group tried to meet the conditions set by Armenia, while on the other hand they expressed views that would also be pleasant to Azerbaijan’s ear.

“Talking about strengthening the monitoring mission and introducing mechanisms of investigation [of ceasefire violations], the co-chairs also raised the issue of drafting a comprehensive agreement without agreeing on certain principles in advance, which was an attempt to please Azerbaijan,” he said.

The ARF Bureau member expressed concern that during the next meeting pressure may be put on Armenia for the purpose of signing such an agreement.

During their meeting in Austria, Sargsyan and Aliyev agreed to respect the ceasefire in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone and continue their political dialogue on finding a peaceful solution to the dispute. They are likely to meet again in June for further talks.

Manoyan noted the activity that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries showed in preparing the meeting – the first between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan since deadly clashes in Karabakh in early April.

“It is not always that the top diplomats of the co-chair countries attend similar negotiations, in this sense Armenia’s participation was justified,” he said.

According to Manoyan, the fact that the comments made by President Sargsyan after the meeting and the evaluations of the OSCE Minsk Group match and Azerbaijan’s silence prove the credibility of the Armenian side’s account of the meeting.

The ARF representative, meanwhile, expressed concern that the OSCE Minsk Group ignores the calls from the Armenian side for Karabakh to be involved in the negotiations as a full party.