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YEREVAN. – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore, in Yerevan today called on all parties to refrain from the use or threat of force and to abstain from retaliatory measures.

“I strongly condemn the recent violent incidents. This conflict will not be resolved by the use of force. The cycle of violence must stop,” said the OSCE Chairperson following a meeting with the Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. “This is the same message I will deliver in Azerbaijan on Thursday. The time has come to build trust; this requires will and commitment on the part of all those involved to seek peace.”

“We in Ireland know all too well the devastating cost of conflict. And we know how hard it is to resolve such situations,” he said recalling the Northern Ireland peace process. “From our experience it is essential to have a clear and determined policy not to yield to violence or the temptation to retaliate. Courage, perseverance and meaningful engagement are called for.”

The Chairperson stressed his support for the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs: “The OSCE can help to bridge differences between countries and between peoples. We can provide a forum for dialogue and support the sides to strengthen the ceasefire and find a negotiated solution.”

“However, in order to make progress towards resolving this long-standing conflict, the sides should further advance their work on the general principles of a resolution, remove snipers from the line of contact, agree on a mechanism for investigating incidents on the frontlines and find ways to implement the recent agreement by the Presidents to develop people-to-people contacts,” he said, emphasizing the need for confidence-building measures.

He will meet President Serzh Sargsyan, Hovik Abrahamyan, the Speaker of the National Assembly, and representatives of political parties and later today.

In his meetings the Chairperson will also discuss Armenia’s co-operation with the OSCE, its Office in Yerevan and Institutions. “I welcome the excellent co-operation between Armenia and the OSCE, which is supporting the country in its reform process, especially in police and judicial as well as with regulatory and economic reforms”.

Following the visit to Armenia, OSCE Chairperson Gilmore will be in Georgia on 12 and 13 June and in Azerbaijan on 13 and 14 June.



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