Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
ArmInfo-Turan: On October 19 and 20 the head of the Azerbaijan European Movement (AEM) Ramin Hajily and Hamid Giyasbeyli, expert for organizing peace building, made a visit to Armenia.
The purpose of the visit was to have a discussion with representatives of the European Movement in Armenia within the framework of improving civic initiatives for the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Those attending the meeting were Secretary General of the International European Movement (IEM), Diogo Pinto and the head of the political committee of the organization, Mrs. Carol Viaver.
At a press conference Hajily noted that with support from the American German Marshall Fund two years ago, a project was launched to promote peace initiatives in the Caucasus with the participation of representatives of the European Movement of the three countries in the region. Subsequently, Turkey's European Movement joined the project, and it has become the Black Sea regional project.
The project twice met with representatives from the Azerbaijani and Armenian branches of the European Movement in Georgia. In addition, on October 19 and 20 a visit of the AED to Armenia took place. In Yerevan AED representatives also participated in the international conference on the integration of Armenia into Europe, organized by the Yerevan office and AED local office of the European Forum of students, where Hajily also held a press conference.
The keynote of the presentations by AED in Yerevan was in regard to the Karabakh conflict with the possibility of a peaceful settlement on the basis of mutual compromise. Hajily said "despite the fact that territories of Azerbaijan have been occupied, Azerbaijan prefers peaceful methods for conflict resolution".
In his view, peace will have to take reciprocal steps. "As the first step, Armenia should free the six regions, which would form an atmosphere of mutual trust and dialogue. It will facilitate achieving a formula for compromise for optimal solutions in the formulation of the legal status of Nagorno Karabakh, and facilitating a corridor between it and Armenia through the Lachin region. Those who sow hostility between Azerbaijanis and Armenians in order to preserve the USSR try to continue to the conflict to maintain their influence in the Caucasus," said Hajily. Hajily's approach to the conflict resolution was perceived aggressively by some journalists.
Hajily noted that the desire for European integration is felt in Armenian society. According to him, the Armenians explained Armenia's participation in the CSTO and military alliance will help them survive in a geographical environment on the part of Turkey, with Iran and its Azerbaijani population, and the strong influence of Azerbaijan in Georgia.
A meeting of representatives of the European Movement of Armenia and Azerbaijan concluded by the signing of a document expressing willingness to continue the dialogue, the return visit of the Armenian delegation to Azerbaijan in March 2014, and the promotion of peaceful civic initiatives.
Azerbaijani representatives wanted to familiarize themselves with the cultural sights of Armenia. Despite their desire to visit the Yerevan mosque and fortress of
Yerevan Khanate, they were denied under the pretext of lack of time. The Azerbaijani representatives also met with the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Armenian Parliament.