Chicago I won't come. Armenian President stays away from NATO summit because of problems on the wording of the final declaration

President Serz Sargsyan of Armenia did not attend the 25th Summit of NATO in Chicago in the last days as was expected. It was left to Armenian Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian, to explain the absence to members of the Armenian Community in Chicago. According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry Press Service Nalbandian said that there was a problem with the text of the final document, "The formulation does not correspond to statements and decisions on conflict settlement which have been made within the OSCE in recent years. It can not only harm the negotiation process but also jeopardize the fragile peace in the region especially given the unprecedented growth of Azerbaijan's military expenses and bellicose rhetoric of this country's leadership. Taking into consideration this concern, the President of Armenia decided not to participate in the Chicago meeting."

The final declaration of the Chicago Summit of NATO leaders states that:

"With our vision of a Euro-Atlantic area at peace, the persistence of protracted regional conflicts in South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova continues to be a matter of great concern for the Alliance. We welcome the constructive approach in the renewed dialogue on Transnistria in the 5+2 format, and encourage further efforts by all actors involved. With respect to all these conflicts, we urge all parties to engage constructively and with reinforced political will in peaceful conflict resolution, and to respect the current negotiation formats. We call on them all to avoid steps that undermine regional security and stability. We remain committed in our support of the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova, and will also continue to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of these regional conflicts, based upon these principles and the norms of international law, the United Nations Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act."

Armenia was likely upset with the emphasis on the principle of territorial integrity which it insists should be equal to the other principle on the right of self determination.

The summit declaration also spoke at length about NATO's relationship with Russia, and states:

"NATO-Russia cooperation is of strategic importance as it contributes to creating a common space of peace, stability and security. We remain determined to build a lasting and inclusive peace, together with Russia, in the Euro-Atlantic area, based upon the goals, principles and commitments of the NATO-Russia Founding Act and the Rome Declaration. We want to see a true strategic partnership between NATO and Russia, and we will act accordingly with the expectation of reciprocity from Russia." 

source: commonspace.eu with www.nato.int and Mediamax

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