Keen to develop defence ties with India, says Armenian deputy international minister

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By Dainik Khabre

Keen to develop defence ties with India, says Armenian deputy international minister

In the aftermath of its bitter battle with Azerbaijan, Armenia is seeking to diversify its defence ties, with a watch on India. It has appointed a defence attaché to its embassy in New Delhi to scope out the potential for additional cooperation. 

Armenia has bought rocket launchers, phased array radars and ammunition from India, specific after 2020. Minister Safaryan additionally mentioned that Armenia wish to develop cooperation on nationwide safety with India after the nationwide safety advisers of each international locations met earlier this 12 months. 

Safaryan thanked India for condemning Azerbaijan’s “aggression” towards Armenia and welcomed a greater Indian role in the region.

What can you tell us about the recent outbreak of hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh?

The best answer to this question would start with putting it straight that the language of “outbreak of hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia” just isn’t appropriate from the start. There is a concrete perpetrator and the folks of Nagorno-Karabakh who has been the sufferer. Let me provide the broader image and a few verifiable particulars.

I’m positive you have got been following the scenario within the area. After the 44-day conflict in 2020 in Nagorno-Karabakh, post-war humanitarian challenges remained acute, with general scenario within the area being unstable and carrying the chance of escalation.

Under false pretexts the Azerbaijani armed forces not solely repeatedly violated the ceasefire agreed to by the November 2020 Trilateral Statement between the management of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, however initiated acts of aggression towards the sovereign territory of Armenia correct, occupying an space of round 150 of the territory of the Republic of Armenia.

Again, underneath false pretexts, final December the Azerbaijani facet, in blatant violation of its obligations underneath worldwide humanitarian regulation and the Trilateral Statement, went even additional and blockaded the Lachin hall – the one lifeline-road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and the outer world, which was additional consolidated by the set up of an unlawful check-point since April 23 and additional – with the entire cessation of any motion, even for humanitarian help by way of the Corridor since June 15. The blockade resulted in a extreme scarcity of meals, medical provides, gasoline and different important items, nearly depleting the assets needed for the survival of the inhabitants. It was accompanied by deliberate disruption of electrical energy and pure fuel provides, additional exacerbating the scenario right into a full-fledged humanitarian disaster.

The use of hunger as a technique of warfare, depriving folks of their technique of subsistence, obstruction and denial of humanitarian entry to UN companies, hindering the ICRC humanitarian actions, represent early warning indicators of an atrocity crime.

Numerous worldwide human rights organizations, impartial legal professionals, and genocide students have expressed concern concerning the existential threats that the folks of Nagorno-Karabakh are dealing with, mentioning the dangers of mass atrocity crimes. The ICRC, the one humanitarian group current in Nagorno-Karabakh, in its assertion expressed concern that it was unable to offer humanitarian help to the civilian inhabitants by way of the Lachin hall.

The steady warnings from the Armenian facet that Azerbaijan, with its deliberate actions, was planning to topic Nagorno-Karabakh to ethnic cleaning, didn’t result in efficient steps by the worldwide neighborhood to stop Baku’s coverage.

Azerbaijan completely ignored calls of worldwide neighborhood to finish the blockade and disregarded legally binding rulings of the International Court of Justice “to take all measures to make sure unimpeded motion of individuals, automobiles and cargo alongside the Lachin hall in each instructions”.

It was amid these conditions that on 19 September Azerbaijan, yet again under false, cynical pretext of an “antiterrorism operation” launched one other large-scale unprovoked navy aggression towards the folks of Nagorno-Karabakh, focusing on not simply navy, however civilian objects and settlements alike, which resulted in over 300 deaths, together with civilians, and over 400 wounded.

The over 100,000 Armenian inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh, dealing with existential threats and fearing for the lives and security of their households, had been compelled to depart their historic homeland and their ancestral properties, which resulted in Azerbaijan successfully culminating its long-standing coverage of ethnic cleaning in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The coverage and actions of Azerbaijan for the final 10 months, evidently demonstrated the pre-planned and well-orchestrated nature of this mass atrocity. Moreover, previous to the aggression on September 18, based on an already well-known sample, the Azerbaijani facet as soon as once more cynically / intentionally initiated a gathering with the representatives of the diplomatic corps to current its false narratives, which proved being a diplomatic preparation for its large-scale new navy aggression and coverage of ethnic cleaning in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Presently, the Azerbaijani authorities have launched into their meticulously formulated subsequent step, specifically, to proceed articulating specific territorial claims towards the sovereign territory of Armenia.

How does Armenia see India’s function within the challenge on condition that New Delhi has offered navy tools? Can India present any emergency navy help to Armenia in these circumstances?

India is a vital pillar of world and regional stability and a significant energy that rightly aspires for a much bigger function in worldwide affairs. India’s profitable presidency within the UN Security Council is a vivid instance to this finish. Our international locations have fairly shut pursuits concerning regional and worldwide points.

Armenia values the balanced and stabilizing place of India in these instances of world turmoil and we extremely recognize the statements and condemnation from the Indian facet concerning the aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan towards Armenia and the blockade of the Lachin hall, in addition to India’s help to the peaceable settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh battle.

You have in all probability adopted the ministerial degree go to to India in October of 2022, Armenia has participated in a number of protection expositions in India, and collaboration has been established with the National Defense College of India, the delegation of which too not too long ago visited Armenia in August of this 12 months.

At the identical time our National Security Councils have began actively partaking in a dialogue, which too will increase our cooperation potential within the related fields. We have established a defence attache place in our embassy in New Delhi, which can even assist to evaluate the wants and additional collaboration on this space.

We wish to see India’s elevated presence in Armenia and in our area at massive, be it commerce and enterprise ties or others. Given your nation’s quick growth, it should contribute to general stability in our area, in addition to India’s technique to have interaction extra in its neighborhood.

A high-level delegation led by Armenian defence ninister Suren Papikyan visited India for Defence Expo in 2022. Are there any plans for added purchases of defence tools?

As I discussed, the delegation headed by our minister of protection Suren Papikyan visited India in October of 2022, throughout which the Minister had the possibility to satisfy together with his Indian counterpart Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh, throughout which either side expressed satisfaction with the present degree of cooperation within the area and mentioned the chances of increasing the cooperation in areas of mutual curiosity.

During his working go to to India, Minister Papikyan additionally visited the DEFEXPO exhibition in Gandhinagar and acquired acquainted with the offered reveals within the Defense exhibition.

If you have got adopted the information this 12 months in March a delegation led by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, First Deputy Minister of Defense, Major-General Edward Asryan was in India on a working go to as properly. The delegation participated within the Raisina Dialogue and had the possibility to debate a variety of points associated to bilateral cooperation and regional safety together with his Indian counterpart Chief of Defense Staff General Anil Chauhan. Within the framework of his working go to, Major General Asryan additionally attended the discussions on Armenian-Indian protection cooperation and regional safety, held by the workplace of the National Security Council of India, the place he offered the safety challenges dealing with Armenia.

Armenia is diversifying its protection cooperation and this can be a good alternative to additional enhancing Armenian-Indian ties on this area.

Has the Armenian authorities requested humanitarian help from India of any type within the ongoing disaster?

On October 2 a gathering was held with the heads of diplomatic missions and representatives of worldwide organizations accredited in Armenia. During the assembly Minister Mirzoyan offered the present scenario ensuing from Azerbaijan’s large-scale aggression and ethnic cleaning of Nagorno-Karabakh. Touching upon the willingness of assorted international locations and worldwide organizations to offer help in overcoming present humanitarian issues, the Minister expressed gratitude for the offered pressing help.

Deputy prime minister Tigran Khachatryan who’s coordinating the Humanitarian Centre established by the federal government of Armenia, briefed the diplomatic corps on the steps undertaken by the Government in direction of figuring out and addressing the precedence issues of greater than 100,000 Armenians forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh and the actions undertaken with worldwide companions in direction of the evaluation of wants that can permit the event of focused long-term help packages.

The challenge of offering the forcibly displaced folks with locations of residence was thought-about a precedence, contemplating as properly the crucial of offering them with employment, academic, medical and social companies. The Government of Armenia has been capable of present the essential necessities and tackle the wants at this preliminary stage, nevertheless, this may certainly be an ongoing course of as Armenians who had been forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh will want long run help to get their every day lives again on observe. We hope all our worldwide pals and companions will discover methods to contribute to this ongoing effort.

We not too long ago had conferences between India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Armenian Security Council chief Armen Grigoryan. Was any Indian help requested throughout this assembly?

As I discussed, our National Security Councils are actively engaged in a dialogue. The Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan final visited India in August of this 12 months, the place he met together with his counterpart National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the dynamics of the event of Armenian-Indian relations, mentioned points associated to regional safety developments, the humanitarian disaster in Nagorno Karabakh, in addition to, within the context of the profitable mission of Chandrayaan 3, touched upon the chances of implementation of joint packages within the area of house business.

How would you assess the present state of bilateral relations between India and Armenia?

Comprehensive deepening and growth of cooperation with India is likely one of the international coverage priorities of Armenia, and either side are working in direction of creating multifaceted relations between our two pleasant international locations and securing tangible outcomes and advantages for our residents.

Last 12 months we celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the institution of diplomatic relations between Armenia and India. Whilst historically heat relations and mutual help between our peoples have repeatedly been strengthening throughout the previous 30 years, the final 2 years had been marked by an amazing upward pattern in our relationships, particularly when talking of political dialogue.

India’s FM Dr. Jaishankar’s historic go to to Armenia in 2021 adopted by Minister Mirzoyan’s visits to India in 2022 and this March set the bottom for figuring out an bold agenda for additional enhancing and strengthening cooperation, and we appear to be steadily heading in direction of the set targets.

The eighth session of Armenian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economy, Technologies, Science, Education and Culture of the Commission held in Yerevan on July 4, 2022 was co-chaired from the Armenian facet by international minister Mirzoyan.

We have taken up the duty of reinforcing parliamentary diplomacy as properly and in 2021 a brand new parliamentary group of friendship with India was fashioned throughout the eighth convocation of the National Assembly. The vice Ppesident of the National Assembly Hakob Arshakyan heads the Group.

We are aiming at growing the present volumes of our bilateral commerce within the coming years, and our efforts might be centered on intensifying B2B interactions. We have exchanged a number of enterprise delegations throughout the previous few years and have explored the chances of additional collaboration. Armenia is a frequent individuals of Raisina Dialogue, and we make good use of this wonderful platform to spice up our varied interplay with Indian companions.

On October 17-19, 2023 Armenian delegation led by Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia Gnel Sanosyan participated at Global Maritime India Summit for the primary time and we recognize partnering with different international locations on this assembly as we attempt to develop our connectivity by way of North-South corridors, INSTC and Persian Gulf – Black Sea transport hall. We held productive discussions with Indian banks, logistic and infrastructure building corporations and invited Indian companions to take part in a variety of infrastructure tasks in Armenia.

I wish to emphasize the humanitarian dimension, masking each academic and cultural facets. Cooperation within the area of schooling is certainly a profitable instance of Armenian-Indian partnership. About 3000 Indian college students examine in Armenia, principally in medical specializations, and we’re discussing alternatives to enhance and develop scholar alternate packages.

Tourism is one other area stuffed with potential for cooperation between two traditionally pleasant nations. Cooperation within the cultural area can as properly be famous. We have a wealthy cultural heritage in India underneath state care, for which we’re grateful to the Government of India. We are additionally engaged on the implementation of Armenian-Indian cultural alternate packages, in addition to on the presentation of the magnificent examples of Indian tradition in Armenia.

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Updated: 26 Oct 2023, 06:00 PM IST

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