SOCHI — On July 1, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian participated in the 34th session of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in Sochi, during which the results of the Russia’s six-month Chairmanship in BSEC were summarized.

In his remarks Edward Nalbandian attached importance to the development of intra-regional transits and transport systems, to the extension of the Black Sea Ring Highway main route to the borders with Iran, the sectoral dialogue partner of the Organization, to the initiative aimed at the development of multimodal freight and passenger ferry lines in the BSEC region.

Edward Nalbandian mentioned that the Armenian experts had their input in the issues of elaborating routes for the access of BSEC small and medium entrepreneurship to the international markets, simplification of trade and trade operations through internet, harmonization of customs procedure, improvement of joint checkpoints, as well as in addressing other issues.

“We welcome the signature of the “Memorandum of Understanding on Information Exchange and Cooperation in the Sphere of Quality Assurance of Medicines” between the BSEC member-states, signed by the Healthcare Ministers. At the same time, unfortunately I have to emphasize, that the BSEC member-states failed to reach a consensus on the Draft Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Sanitary Protection of the Territories of the BSEC member-states.

The Armenian side has a constructive involvement in the initiatives towards the cooperation between the national services in preventing and eliminating the consequences of natural disasters, early warning in case of emergency situations and establishing a network of crisis centers.

Armenia also supports the strengthening of the legal framework of cooperation in the energy field”, the Foreign Minister of Armenia stressed.

Armenia stands for the enhancement of the BSEC role in international arena, the expansion of cooperation with other international, regional organizations, as well as for strengthening of interaction with observers and sectoral dialogue partners.

Indeed, that cooperation should develop in accordance with the BSEC Charter and other fundamental documents.

“We should not allow the politicization of the BSEC, its transformation into a platform for political confrontation. Unfortunately, today we witnessed the attempts of the Azerbaijani delegation to politicize the Plenary Session for their narrow-minded propagandistic goals”, Edward Nalbandian emphasized.

Minister Nalbandian highlighted, “In regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, I would like to remind, that the Vienna and St. Petersburg Summits first and foremost were aimed to stabilize the situation in the conflict zone in the aftermaths of large-scale military actions unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh in April. First of all, it is a necessity to implement what was particularly emphasized and agreed upon in the frameworks of the Summits in order to create conditions for the continuation of the negotiation process; i.e. the exclusively peaceful settlement of the conflict, the unconditional adherence to the 1994-1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements, which have no time limitations, the creation of mechanism for the investigation of ceasefire violations, the expansion of the team of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.”

A number of resolutions, decisions related to the activity of the Organization were adopted at the session of the BSEC Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs aimed at the deepening of regional cooperation.

At the end of the session Russia handed over the BSEC Chairmanship to Serbia.

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