Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participates in session of Collective Security Treaty Organization
Caretaker FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated November 8 in the joint session of the foreign ministerial council, defense ministerial council and security council secretary committee of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Astana, Kazakhstan, the foreign ministry said. The agenda of the session included cooperation within the framework of the CSTO, and issues relating to foreign policy combination of member states in international arenas, as well as regional and international security issues. The latest developments in Afghanistan, Syria and Middle East were addressed. In his remarks, Armenia’s caretaker foreign minister thanked his Kazakh counterpart for the successful chairmanship in the CSTO and expressed Armenia’s support to Kyrgyzstan’s upcoming chairmanship priorities on increasing effectiveness of the organization and deepening cooperation. Speaking about the agenda issues, Mnatsakanyan reiterated Armenia’s determination to continue steps on strengthening efforts in enhancing defense potential of CSTO member states and combating modern challenges and threats. Mnatsakanyan said that Armenia attaches great importance to the significance of joint and comprehensive efforts in countering extremism and international terrorism. He highlighted the threats associated with the return of militants who have taken part in armed conflicts as part of terror organization to their countries of origin. It was noted that this issue is a serious challenge for international security. Mnatsakanyan expressed concern over the ongoing situation in the Middle East and namely in Syria, as well as the challenges facing ethnic and religious minorities in the region as a result of terrorist activities. He attached importance to the steps on increasing the CSTO peacekeeping potential and strengthening cooperation with the UN. Speaking about the NK conflict, Mnatsakanyan noted that the new government of Armenia has numerously reiterated its commitment to the exclusively peaceful solution of the conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. He highlighted the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting in Tajikistan and noted that during the meeting agreements were able to be reached which will contribute to the formation of an appropriate environment for a peaceful process, if implemented. He stressed that the issues of security and status of Artsakh remain among Armenia’s priorities, and stressed the significance of Artsakh’s involvement in the negotiations process. Mnatsakanyan attached importance to the refusal of belligerent rhetoric, noting that it leads to increased hostility and atmosphere of distrust in the region. He noted that the arms race is topical and very concerning, and it doesn’t contribute to settlement. Several decisions were signed at the session, and the documents of the upcoming Collective Security Council session were approved.