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On observance of principles and norms of etiquette in interstate relations ahead of talks in Sochi
08 August 2014 | Hayk Kotanjian

This statement reflects a desire to help defuse tensions as a result of violations of the truce between the parties to the Karabakh conflict in terms of the recent hostilities on the borders of the Republic of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic ahead of the talks between the heads of state of the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi at the invitation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair represented by the President of the Russian Federation.

As we know in the UN Charter and the preamble to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations common goals and principles of interstate relations are set forth concerning the sovereign equality of states, the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of friendly relations among nations.

Taking into account that the etiquette of interstate relations is not defined in some integrated code of international standards, it can be interpreted as a reflection of the goals and principles of the UN Charter and the Vienna Convention in the corporate rules of professional conduct in interstate relations, including the procedure rules and style of the visits, public speaking, business meetings and negotiations between actors in international relations. And in these terms, referring to the etiquette of interstate relations, we mean the commitment of the political culture of a state and actors to certain rules and traditions of maintaining relations with other states. At the same time, as the main actors of interstate relations and bearers of norms of this etiquette are the heads of states, and not just their diplomatic agents on behalf of their representatives. It is important to note that the UN Charter and the Vienna Convention are adopted both by the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The use of this approach - in the absence of another - makes it possible to interpret the observance of the norms of etiquette of interstate relations by the Head of Azerbaijan with his partners in the forthcoming talks in Sochi, being organized under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair represented by the Head of the Russian Federation - one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

In this regard, the reference of my Statement not only to the UN Charter but also to the Vienna Convention - despite the absence of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan - disguises the deep dissatisfaction with this political and diplomatic fact under the conditions of the tripartite ceasefire agreement among the Republic of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, signed in May 1994, and many years of negotiations between the parties to the Karabakh conflict, under the aegis of Co-Chairmanship of the three permanent members of the UN Security Council: the Russian Federation, the United States and the French Republic.

Meanwhile, two days before the talks between the heads of state of the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan, on August 6, 2014, the official website of the President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev posted the text of his speech entitled THE PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN, SUPREME COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES ILHAM ALIYEV VISITED A MILITARY UNIT IN AGHDAM. In this speech, the Head of the neighboring state used expressions against the Republic of Armenia, grossly violating the generally accepted norms of interstate relations.

A fragment of the official text by the head of Azerbaijan is as follows: - ... If the Armenian fascist state will not give up its dirty deeds, the very existence of the Armenian state can be called into question. ". See the link of the official text on the site PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN. ILHAM ALIYEV: http://ru.president.az/articles/12487
As the Chairman of the Political Science Association of Armenia, I consider it my duty to mention the unacceptability of such expressions for heads of neighboring states having official interstate relations, especially on the eve of peace talks.

By his in-no-way justified definitions the President of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev grossly violated the goals, principles and norms of interstate relations, established in the UN Charter and the preamble of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The definition of fascist state, read out through the mouth of the President of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Armenia, can only hinder the efforts to establish peace and stability in the South Caucasus, as well as the success of the forthcoming meeting of the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi at the invitation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair the President of the Russian Federation.

Ahead of the meeting of the Heads of state of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi on August 8, 2014, I have the honor to express the hope that such expressions inconsistent with international norms of interstate relations ‒ would not be repeated by the head of the neighboring state.

Author - Chairman of the Political Science Association of Armenia
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary


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