Armenian and Egyptian Foreign Ministers meet to discuss ‘foreign interference’ in region

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan has been visiting Egypt, where he repeated his message that Yerevan believes Turkey is responsible for destabilising the region.

Briefing his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, Mnatsakanyan said "During the events in July, Turkey has been the only country that was taking a one-sided, very aggressive approach".

At the beginning of September, Mnatsakanyan gave a similar message to Russian news agency Interfax, saying that “Turkey is trying to export this policy of destabilization to the South Caucasus region.”

Talking to Italian news agency EFE, Mnatsakanyan tried to strike a balance between Armenia’s alliances in Europe and its close relations with Russia, saying that Armenia's foreign policy goal is "not to forge relations with one partner at the expense of another".

Talking about the ongoing low-level conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Mnatsakyan suggested strengthening the ceasefire regime which has been in force since 1994 with “control mechanisms” to prevent escalations which target the side responsible for any violation of the truce.

When conflict does break out along the line of control between Armenia and Azerbaijan, both sides often accuse the other of instigating the fighting. Talking about the hostilities between the two countries in July, Mnatsakanyan told EFE that "Our positions were attacked, but the civilian population was also attacked. In four days we repelled the attack and rejected the aggression”.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev stated that “all the responsibility lies with the military-political leadership of Armenia”.

Mnatsakanyan suggested that Azerbaijan’s position was that it was doing Armenia “a favour” by not restarting hostilities, and that this constituted a threat that was being used to force Armenia to make concessions during talks.

According to Armenian news site Azbarez, Mnatsakanyan told a joint Amenian-Egyptian news conference in Cairo on Monday that “Yerevan supports Egypt in its feud with Ankara.”

During his visit to Cairo, Mnatsakanyan visited Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches. The Armenian and Egyptian Foreign Ministers also exchanged views on the ongoing situations in Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.