Strengthening Diplomatic Ties: Outcomes of Austrian-Armenian Meeting in Vienna

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: July 25, 2023; 19:06 ♦ (Vindobona)

The meeting between the Austrian and Armenian Foreign Ministers addressed crucial regional and global issues, including migration, security, and humanitarian challenges. The signing of the Readmission Agreement Protocol and discussions on various topics laid a foundation for further cooperation and diplomatic efforts between the two nations.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (r.) received his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan (l.) in Vienna. An EU-Armenian readmission agreement was signed on the occasion. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

An important meeting between Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan took place in Vienna. Important topics of the exchange were migration and regional security, as well as humanitarian challenges in the South Caucasus, in particular about the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The signing of the Implementing Protocol to the Readmission Agreement between Armenia and the EU further strengthened relations between the two countries and laid a foundation for the repatriation of migrants.

Foreign Minister Schallenberg stated that Austria has a high number of asylum applications and it is important to establish a solid basis for repatriations. The roadmap and clear guidelines of this agreement should enable an efficient return of migrants and support a functioning European migration system.

During the press conference, Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized the intensive political and economic cooperation between Armenia and Austria. He praised the increased trade volume and Austrian support for sustainable development in Armenia. The two ministers also discussed cooperation with international bodies such as the EU and the UN.

Humanitarian situation in the Lachin Corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh

The meeting also focused on the humanitarian situation in the South Caucasus, particularly the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, which is the link between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The illegally closed route has led to a humanitarian crisis in which the supply of food, medicine, and medical care has been severely affected. Foreign Minister Mirzoyan stressed the urgency of international assistance to prevent a disaster.

Armenia and relations with Russia and Turkey

Armenia's relations with Russia and Turkey were also discussed. Foreign Minister Schallenberg expressed concern in light of Russia's growing influence in Armenia. He said that Vienna remains available as a venue for talks on normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey. He also referred to the role of the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in security in the Caucasus and beyond.

Ararat Mirzoyan then met with Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The two discussed regional affairs and the OSCE's role in addressing current challenges. Mirzoyan briefed Schmid on the security situation in the South Caucasus and recent developments in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. He stressed the need for an international solution to the problems of Nagorno-Karabakh and called for effective measures to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the region.

Armenia and IAEA

Vienna also saw a significant meeting between Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to strengthen close cooperation between Armenia and the IAEA and promote nuclear safety and energy efficiency in Armenia. Both sides stressed the peaceful and safe use of nuclear energy. Another topic of discussion was Armenia's active participation in the IAEA's Rays of Hope initiative to promote radiation medicine and oncology in the region.

MFA Armenia

MFA Austria