YEREVAN — Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom stressed, during a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Yerevan, that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has no military solution and the settlement of the conflict is through peace talks under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
“This visit provided an opportunity to better understand how you see the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. There is no military solution to the issue. We should do the utmost to prevent escalation,” Mrs. Wallström told reporters in Yerevan.
During her meetings in Yerevan Wallstrom stressed the importance of political and economic reforms for Armenia’s closer relations with the European Union. She discussed with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian ongoing negotiations on a new EU-Armenia accord that will serve as a substitute for an Association Agreement nearly signed by the two sides two years ago.
“You can trust and count on us,” Wallstrom told the joint news conference with Nalbandian. She said that the EU is now taking “individual approaches” to each of the partner states reflecting their differing foreign policy priorities.
“This means dealing with countries on an individual basis and applying the principle of ‘more for more,’” said Wallstrom. This is why, she added, the EU will be closely monitoring the course of reforms promised by the Armenian authorities.
“Reforms implemented in Armenia and our European partners’ support for them were on the agenda of our negotiations,” Nalbandian said for his part.
The EU has expressed concern about irregularities reported during the referendum on Constitutional amendments but stopped short of openly challenging its official results. Senior EU officials reportedly urged Yerevan to “appropriately implement the new constitution” at an annual meeting of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council held in Brussels last month.
An EU statement released after that meeting said senior EU officials urged Yerevan to “accelerate reforms in specific areas, notably democracy and the rule of law, anti-corruption, human rights and fundamental freedoms, constitutional and judicial reform.”