Karabakh Delegation Leaves for PACE Hearings

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A delegation representing the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic left for Paris Monday to attend hearings on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–initiated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and scheduled to begin in the French capital Wednesday.

During their visit–Karabakh officials are also scheduled to met with French parliamentarians–foreign ministry officials and representatives of various parties and organizations of the French-Armenian community.

The Karabakh delegation is headed by Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister Naira Melkumian–Minister of Agriculture Armo Tsatrian–Stepanakert Mayor Karen Babayan.

Initially–the hearings were to have been held in Strasbourg on November 3–however–since Azerbaijan refused to attend the meetings–the hearings were postponed to Wednesday.

In its decision to not attend the initial meetings–Azerbaijan called for the inclusion of the minority Azeri community of Karabakh as a separate delegation.

The Council of Europe decided that representatives of the Azeri community of Karabakh would attend the hearings as part of the larger Azeri delegation.

Azerbaijan refused to attend the re-scheduled hearings over the weekend.

At a session of the Political Committee in Budapest on Nov. 27–the PACE reiterated its decision to hold hearings on the Karabakh conflict on the terms accepted in Strasbourg on November 3–with delegations of Armenia–Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh being represented.

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