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Updated September 25th, 2023 at 10:53 IST

Bilateral ties, Security of South Caucasus: EAM Jaishankar meets Armenian counterpart

On the sidelines of 78th UN General Assembly, EAM Dr S Jaishankar met the Armenian foreign minister Arart Mirzoyan in New York on Sunday.

Apoorva Shukla
Jaishankar
EAM Dr S Jaishankar meets Armenian foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan | Image: X/ @DrSJaishankar | Image:self
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On the sidelines of 78th United Nations General Assembly, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met the Armenian foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan in New York on Sunday, September 24, as the two leaders affirmed a strong bilateral partnership. The meeting comes amid thousands of Nagorno-Karabakhs's ethnic Armenians who have started crossing over to Armenia after Azerbaijan's military offensive. 

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishakar took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to announce New Delhi’s strong relationship with Armenia after meeting Mirzoyan. “On the sidelines of UNGA78, met with Ararat Mirzoyan FM of Armenia. Appreciate his sharing assessment of the current situation in the Caucasus. Affirmed our strong bilateral relationship,” said Jaishankar on X. 

The Armenian foreign minister also informed that he discussed the security situation in South Caucasus, referring to the region comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. He said that during the meeting he asserted that ethnic cleansing needs to be prevented in the region. “On sidelines of #UNGA78 met w/my colleague, FM @DrSJaishankar. Discussed security situation in #SouthCaucasus & Azerbaijani aggression in #NagornoKarabakh. Stressed imperative for clear steps to restrain efforts to destabilize the region & prevent another ethnic cleansing,” said the Armenian Foreign Minister in a post on X. 

India’s growing ties with Armenia 

India and Armenia share a bilateral relationship, after New Delhi recognised the country in 1991. In recent times, New Delhi has been strengthening its relationship with Armenia as an attempt to look beyond its traditional allies like Russia and Iran in the region. India has been supplying weapons to Armenia, thus, strengthening its defence against Azerbaijan, with which it has been locked into a conflict in the Nogorno-Kharabakh region. 

In July this year, India exported the Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher System (MBRLS) Pinaka, designed and developed indigenously. Pinaka strengthens Armenia, given Azerbaijan’s constant use of drones. In addition to the Pinaka system, Armenia acquired four indigenous Swathi weapons-locating radars from India in 2020.

New Delhi-Armenia ties raises eyebrows 

However, India’s growing ties with Armenia have evoked strong reactions from Azerbaijan. In January 2023, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev had criticised India’s burgeoning military cooperation with Armenia calling it an unfriendly step. Further, Azerbaijan is a part of an informal arrangement with Pakistan and Turkey where all three vow to support each other. 

Jaishankar also held separate bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other countries including Mexico, Bosnia, Herzegovina. The Indian external Affairs Minister is on a nine-day visit, beginning from the UN General Assembly.  The minister is scheduled to address the General Debate from the UN General Assembly hall on Tuesday. He would also be hosting an event on Global south as well.

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Published September 25th, 2023 at 10:53 IST

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