Karabakh Blasts Armenia’s Ruling Party

STEPANAKERT (Noyan Tapan/RFE/RL)–In the wake of a recent series of armed attacks on senior Armenian government officials–the government of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic issued the following statement Saturday condemning Armenia’s ruling party for what it called attempts to destabilize the country:

"Karabakh’s leadership condemns the crimes recently committed in Armenia–as well as all attempts to use them to destabilize the social and political life of the country. The statemen’s made by some irresponsible politicians from the ruling party–who are trying to link the latest occurrences with the differences between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia over the Karabakh settlement produce anxiety and concern. These provocative statemen’s cause a split within society–undermine the unity of the nation as well as the political–legal and moral bases of the two Armenian states. Karabakh’s authorities–condemning both the criminal actions and the resulting political speculations–urge all state officials responsible for the ongoing crisis to be guided by national and not circumstantial interests to avert further destabilization."

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty analyzed that the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh accused "some irresponsible leaders" of the ruling Armenian National Movement of being intent on linking the incidents with the growing differences between Karabakh and Armenia over how to settle the 10-year conflict with Azerbaijan.

The leaders of the Movement have indirectly blamed the attacks on a conspiracy by Armenia’s executive branch headed by Prime Minister Kocharian–hinting that Interior and National Security Minister Serzh Sarkissian should resign. The two men as well as Defense Minister Vazgen Sargssian support Nagorno-Karabakh in its rejection to a latest internationally-brokered peace plan as opposed to the ANM and Levon Ter-Petrosyan who have approved it. The ANM made it clear that the Armenian side might face a "social explosion" unless it makes serious concessions.

The statement condemned the recent outbreak of violence and "attempts to use them for destabilization." The statement said the "provocative" remarks by ANM leaders threaten to "split Armenian society–disrupt national unity and political–legal–moral bases of the two Armenian states."

The statement came a day after Vazgen Sargssian’s (not related to Serzh) charges that it was the ANM that was behind the attacks. Sargssian pledged his unconditional support for the Kocharian government–urging a tough position on Karabakh.

The Nagorno-Karabakh government also called on all Armenian politicians to be "guided by national rather than circumstantial interests to avert an exacerbation of this critical situation."

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