The OSCE Office in Yerevan will stop its activity on August 31, the organization informed on Thursday.
The OSCE Permanent Council has been unable to reach consensus on extending the mandate of the organization’s representation in Armenia.
According to the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, the office in Yerevan and its staff significantly contributed to supporting the Armenian authorities in fulfilling their obligations within the framework of the OSCE. The cooperation with Armenia has always been fruitful, he noted, adding that the organization will continue cooperating with the country in other directions, TASS reports.
The OSCE Bureau supported Armenia in developing democratic institutions and enhancing the civil society. This included implementation of activities in such spheres as legislative reforms, fight against corruption and trafficking, environmental protection, raising the awareness on human rights, freedom of press, gender equality, support to the work of the police service, as well as reforms in the armed forces.
Armenia remained the only country in the South Caucasus region, where the OSCE office operated. In 2015, the OSCE Office was closed in Baku. The mandate of the OSCE Office in Georgia expired in December 2008.
The operation of the OSCE Office in Yerevan “hung in the air” due to the lack of consensus on extension of its mandate. Azerbaijan raised claims against the program related to demining trainings. The German and then the Austrian chairmanship tried to persuade Azerbaijan of the invalidity of its claims but to no avail. The Armenian side agreed to stop the program but Azerbaijan continues to exert efforts towards interfering with the work of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. Earlier, talks were held in Vienna, which, however, yielded no positive results.