Homeland Faction Wants New Committee to Handle Karabakh Negotiations

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Republic parliamentary faction was scheduled to discuss the Karabakh conflict settlement at a special session Wednesday. The session was expected to be attended by Levon Ter-Petrosyan–Armenian National Movement Board chairman Vano Siradeghian–who also announced the special meeting at the Monday session of the National Assembly.

That statement was made in response to reports that some 10 parliamentarians–mostly members of the Homeland faction–came up with the initiative to hold a special session of the National Assembly Sunday and discuss the Karabakh issue. The session was supposed to set up an ad hoc government committee to handle the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

"It is not ruled out that a resolution much worse than the Lisbon statement–will be adopted in Copenhagen," Edward Yegorian–head of the Homeland deputy group said. He noted that there were ways allowing to avoid the adoption of such a resolution. He said that one of the possible options was the convocation of a special parliament session. Yegorian considered as reasonable to form a multiparty state committee to deal with the Karabakh issue.

He said it was important to raise the role of Karabakh in the talks and weaken Armenia’s role in the negotiations. He also noted the importance of creation of such mechanisms which would allow to avoid the possible pressure on Karabakh through pressuring Armenia. Yegorian holds that the formation of the committee will orient the international community to direct talks with Karabakh and to some extent weaken the pressure exerted on Armenia.

Parliamentarian David Shahnazrian who also supported the creation of the ad hoc committee–called on all factions and deputy groups to submit their proposals in that regard–saying that the creation of the committee was not a major question to be discussed. He said that the most important was to clearly determine the National Assembly’s standpoint. "We hope that during the parliamentary debates we would be able to find solutions allowing to change the present stance of the Armenian leadership on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. To avoid such discussions is–to put it mildly–erroneous," he said.

Head of the Yerkrapah deputy group Albert Bazeyan deems that the Parliament must react to the situation created around the Karabakh issue. However members of the group did not join the initiative as they believe that the idea of setting up an ad hoc committee is vulnerable and discussions may be deadlocked.

Bazeyan said the Yerkrapah group would keep on insisting that a principle of self-determination of Karabakh Armenia’s must be the basis of the negotiations process. He did not rule out that the group headed by him would raise the problem of recognition of Karabakh’s independence.

Head of the Social State deputy group Gegham Gharibjanian said that it would be more reasonable to organize parliament hearings. According to him–it is necessary to acquire more comprehensive information and only then convene a special session.

Parliament Speaker Babken Ararktsian said that initially the debates should be held in deputy groups and factions and only after they adopt a certain resolution–they could come up with the legislative initiative in accordance with the Constitution.

"[Levon Ter-Petrosyan initiated these debates himself–but he meant constructive discussions which will allow us overcome the present situation–and will not aim at setting up alleged sub-governmental bodies to regulate these problems. We should not hurry–but do everything gradually–and it would be better if factions make decisions and submit proposals which would correspond to the National Assembly’s powers," Ararktsian said. He said that the Republic faction was interested in that matter most of all and if necessary it would do everything for the settlement of that problem itself.

The Republic faction is one of the biggest parliamentary groups at the National Assembly of Armenia and mostly consists of deputy-members of the ANM.

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