Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, left, with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu

BUCHAREST (Combined Sources) — Armenia’s Foreign Minister visited Romania on April 3 and 4 and held high-level meetings with various officials.

During his meeting with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu, he said Armenia views the European Union civilian mission on its international border with Azerbaijan as a “valuable instrument” for increasing security on the ground and contributing to peace and stability in the region.

Mirzoyan said he discussed a “broad circle” of issues of bilateral cooperation with Aurescu.

A 2023-2024 joint action plan was signed, he added.

“We’ve expressed our readiness to cooperate in the bilateral agenda, legal framework, regular political consultations, as well as in culture, education and science. We’ve expressed readiness to take steps in economic relations to utilize the entire potential in business ties,” Mirzoyan said.

The foreign ministers also discussed the effective implementation of Armenia-EU political and security dialogue and the Armenia-EU CEPA.

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Views were exchanged around cooperation within the framework of Eastern Partnership and the European Political Community.

“Sending EU monitors to the Armenian side of the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan immediately after the Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia in September 2022 and then deploying a long-term EU civilian monitoring mission is the EU’s important engagement in our region. We view it as a valuable instrument to increase security of people on the ground and contribute to peace and stability in the region. We appreciate Romania’s valuable contribution in the relevant discussions in the EU,” he said.

Azerbaijan is violating almost every clause of the November 9, 2020 trilateral statement, Mirzoyan said after his meeting with Aurescu.

Mirzoyan said that Armenia believes that its colleagues and the international community will play their role by sending an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno Karabakh and Lachin Corridor.

“I presented to my colleague the existential challenges and threats facing the Republic of Armenia and the people of Nagorno Karabakh. Unfortunately, the blockade of Lachin Corridor since December 2022, the terror, as well as Azerbaijan’s other actions seek to force the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh to leave their homes. Azerbaijan’s response to the international community’s calls to address the issue of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno Karabakh has been a coordinated policy of ethnic cleansings,” Mirzoyan said.

“The illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor isn’t the only explicit violation of the November 9, 2020 trilateral statement. There’s almost not a single clause in the statement that Azerbaijan isn’t violating. Continually holding Armenian prisoners of war hostage and demanding an extraterritorial corridor through the sovereign territory of Armenia, Azerbaijan is not ensuring internally displaced persons and refugees’ return to Nagorno Karabakh and adjacent regions under the supervision of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mirzoyan stressed that Azerbaijan continues to spread hate speech and belligerent rhetoric on the highest levels, and regularly takes aggressive actions and is occupying around 150 square kilometers sovereign territory of Armenia.

“We believe that our colleagues, the international community will have an important role, by utilizing the respective tools and mechanisms, including by sending an international fact-finding mission to the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno Karabakh,” FM Mirzoyan said.

Mirzoyan reiterated Armenia’s readiness for constructive dialogue with Azerbaijan in an atmosphere void of hate speech, preconditions and belligerent rhetoric, seeking to reach peace and security in South Caucasus.

He added that Armenia has strong political will to achieve peace and stability in the region. Mirzoyan said that Armenia continues dialogue with Azerbaijan in spite of all difficulties.

Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca received Mirzoyan on the same day.

Ciuca and Mirzoyan discussed the security situation in the Extended Black Sea Region – generated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “special military operation” but many Western countries label an “unprovoked act of aggression” – as well as the events after the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the developments of the peace process in the region.

Ciuca stressed the need to build on the good bilateral relations in order to increase the level of trade for the benefit of both countries. At the same time, Ciuca stressed the importance of stabilizing the region and the steps towards peace, announcing full support for the peace process launched by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and participation in the European peace mission in Armenia.

“The peace process must move forward and the situation in the region must be resolved on the basis of international law, with respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of all states,” the Romanian Prime Minister said.

Mirzoyan also met with Vasile-Daniel Suciu, the Vice-Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania. After the meeting, Ararat Mirzoyan and Vasile-Daniel Suciu took part in the opening ceremony of the exhibition dedicated to the famous Romanian figure of Armenian descent, general Hakob Zadik (Iacob Zadik), held in the Chamber of Deputies. During the event, Varuzhan Pambukchyan, a Member of the Parliament of Romania, Chairman of the Group of National Minorities, and Varuzhan Voskanyan, First Vice-President of the Writers’ Union of Romania, Chairman of the Union of Armenians of Romania, gave remarks. The contribution of representatives of the Romanian-Armenian community to the socio-political, scientific, educational and cultural life of Romania during different periods of time was highlighted, one of the vivid examples of which is the activity of general Hakob Zadik, who was honored by Romania and other countries.

President of the Romanian Senate, Alina Gorghiu, believes that Romania and Armenia should strengthen the parliamentary dialogue, she wrote on Twitter, publishing a photo with Mirzoyan.

“Meeting with Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan in the Senate of Romania. Romania and Armenia should strengthen the parliamentary dialogue. We have discussed steps towards this. I am glad that the gender quota works in Armenia,” Gorgiu emphasized, expressing satisfaction that 36 percent of deputies in the Armenian parliament are women.

(Reports from Armenpress, contributed to this story.)

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