What is RA Prime Minister's agenda for the meeting in Vienna?

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Tomorrow, in the Austrian capital Vienna, the most discussed foreign policy event in recent months - the meeting of the RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is expected. The event is remarkable in that this is the first official meeting of the two presidents, organized by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Recall that all previous meetings were unofficial, including the last meeting of Pashinyan-Aliyev in Davos on January 22, 2019, which the Prime Minister personally reported on his Facebook page, noting that only an exchange of views on the situation around the Karabakh settlement and further discussions took place.

In the domestic political arena of Armenia, hopes associated with the meeting in Vienna are analyzed and discussed, although the ruling elite makes it clear that there is no need to pin high hopes on it. In particular, the Chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Ruben Rubinyan stated today that one should not expect any historical progress.

However, the most important thing now is the question what kind of agenda the Armenian Prime Minister is sent to Vienna for a meeting with the president of the adversary country. On the eve, Nikol Pashinyan stated in this regard in the National Assembly of Armenia that he was going to Vienna with an agenda in which his accentuations were made, made on March 12 in Stepanakert during a speech at a meeting of the National Security Council.

Here, we are talking about two major tasks: firstly, the participation of Artsakh in the negotiation process, and secondly, the Madrid principles.

Let us remind you that from the first day of his tenure as Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan brought the issue of Artsakh participation in the negotiations to the foreign policy agenda, which was opposed by Azerbaijan. Of course, this was expected. However, so that Azerbaijan did not try to fail the negotiation process and blame Armenia for this, Premier Pashinyan immediately noted that he was not going to turn the issue into a precondition for Armenia’s participation in the negotiations.

“For us, the participation of Artsakh in the negotiation process is not a whim and not a precondition, but merely a statement that Artsakh’s participation is crucial in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”.

Thus, the following is expected from the meeting in Vienna:

First: Concretizing the points of the document entitled Madrid Principles, not meeting the interests of Armenia and Artsakh. Moreover, it is time to abandon them, proving the ineffectiveness of these principles to the co-chairs. We believe this will be a great contribution from Pashinyan in the negotiations on Karabakh.

Second. The second expectation is that Nikol Pashinyan put on the agenda of negotiations and, finally, presented to the international community the important argument that the policy pursued by Azerbaijan against Artsakh is nothing more than a part of the genocide committed against the Armenians for 130 years.

Third. The fulfillment of the agreements reached in Vienna, St. Petersburg and Geneva, neglecting which the Armenian political forces justly cannot forgive Nikol Pashinyan, regarding this as a consequence of haste, self-confidence and reassessment of the latter’s own abilities.

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