“Armenia will continue to help enhance the efficiency of CSTO activities” – PM attends CSTO Collective Security Council meeting

Posted on December. 1. 2019

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the CSTO Collective Security Council session in Bishkek. The session was attended by the heads of CSTO-member states – Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. First, the meeting was held in a narrow and then in an expanded format.

The members of the Collective Security Council discussed issues related to international and regional security, cooperation within the Organization and the CSTO-member states’ interaction in the international arena.

Addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister of Armenia assured that our country will continue to help enhance the efficiency of CSTO activities and strengthen its international standing. Nikol Pashinyan stressed that he sees a significant potential for the development of cooperation between Member States. He expressed the opinion that cooperation in the field of high technologies is one of the most relevant areas as highlighted during the Yerevan-hosted 17th meeting of the Interstate Commission on Military-Economic Cooperation in September.

“It is my pleasure to state that we were able to agree on the appointment of the new Secretary General. I am confident that the long experience of Stanislav Vasilievich Zas will be of great service in this responsible post,” Nikol Pashinyan said, pleased with the completion of the process of improving the regulatory framework as regards the substitution of the Secretary General in case of impossibility to exercise his duties.

The Prime Minister next touched on regional security issues, dwelling on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The head of the Armenian government expressed confidence that militaristic aspirations are absolutely unpromising and there is no alternative to peaceful negotiations and peaceful resolution of the issue.

Nikol Pashinyan noted that the position of Azerbaijan’s leadership is a threat to the security of both the South Caucasus and the CSTO countries. “I think that further escalation will have disastrous consequences that may go far beyond the South Caucasus. Being in a state of war, Azerbaijan could become a convenient springboard for terrorists who after losing ground in Syria will be looking for new areas to expand their activities. At the same time, Azerbaijan is a convenient platform in geographical terms through which extremists can spread their actions in all directions: to Iran in the south, Russia – in the north, Georgia – in the west and the countries of Central Asia – in the east,” Prime Minister Pashinyan noted.

At the same time, Nikol Pashinyan pointed out that the CSTO has all necessary resources to prevent a new escalation around Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the Prime Minister, in order to prevent a possible escalation, the CSTO-member states should refrain from complying with Azerbaijan’s requests for acquisition of new weapons.

“We are sincere in our aspiration for peace and stand ready for a constructive dialogue on the peaceful settlement of the conflict based on the concept I have presented. We will continue negotiating in the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ format, which is the only internationally mandated entity, and which has repeatedly been supported by the CSTO. In this context, I would like to express my special gratitude to Russia for co-chairmanship in the Minsk Group,” Nikol Pashinyan emphasized.

The Prime Minister next referred to the situation in Syria, stressing the importance of reinstating peace and stability in that country.

“The events taking place in Syria are of our utmost concern. Armenia condemned Turkey’s recent military invasion of northeast Syria, which posed a direct threat to the Armenian population living there.

National and religious minorities are the main target of terrorists and those who stand behind them. We were shocked by the brutal murder of the spiritual pastor of the Armenian Catholic Church in Kamyshli and his father in the Syrian province of Deir-ez-Zor.

The true reasons behind the intervention in the territory of a neighboring sovereign state are obvious and have little in common with the objectives stated by Turkey. Turkey’s violation of the principles of international law is unacceptable and should be unequivocally condemned by the international community. Armenia supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria. We will continue to provide so badly needed humanitarian assistance to the friendly Syrian people,” the Armenian Premier said, noting that it is more than ever important for the CSTO-member states to join efforts in the face of challenges emerging in today’s rapidly changing world.

“Our mutual commitments assumed within the CSTO should be unquestionably respected, and the Member-States’ interests should be seen as a priority. In this we see our collective strength, and in this is the prerequisite for the development of our organization,” the Prime Minister pointed out.

The Head of the Government of the Republic of Armenia wished Russia every success during its upcoming presidency in the organization, which comes on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Nikol Pashinyan stressed that Armenia supports the priorities set forth as part of Russia’s presidency.

A series of documents were signed at the Summit: on improvement of international cooperation and interaction for strengthening global and regional security, an action plan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, a set of amendments to the CSTO-adopted normative-legal acts, the basic organization in the field of development of cooperation and integration relations of enterprises and organizations of defense industry (military-industrial) complexes of the CSTO-member states, a procedure for organizing and holding joint research and development activities.

The meeting participants discussed the military and political situation in the CSTO space, issues related to the fight against crime in the sphere of information technologies, the priority areas of joint work during Russia’s upcoming chairmanship in the CSTO.

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