Armenian President Won’t Be Indifferent if Crisis Develops in Karabakh Says Spokesperson

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–During a press briefing Monday–Armenian presidential spokesperson Vahe Gabrielian said if a crisis develops in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–the Armenian president cannot remain indifferent–since the crisis could effect the outcome of the Karabakh conflict peace process.

Gabrielian was briefing reporters on Saturday’s trip to Karabakh by President Robert Kocharian–who held meetings with high-ranking Karabakh officials on the recent government stand off.

The presidential spokesperson asserted that it should not be forgotten that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a pan-Armenian issue and is still in its resolution stages.

The President of Armenia bears responsibility for the situation and its final resolution–Gabrielian said.

"If war begins–Armenia cannot stand aside," said Gabrielian adding that Kocharian has firmly declared that he would not allow any individual or group to lead the way to destabilization.

"If intervention is needed–intervention will be given," said Gabrielian.

In his briefing–Gabrielian also explained that in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–following the 1994 cease-fire agreement–a need arose to coordinate the balance of power in the government–namely relations between the power ministries and the executive branch.

The spokesperson stated that such coordination had been put off for various reasons–thus creating discord in the ruling elite in the government.

Gabrielian reiterated Kocharian’s sphere of responsibility vis–vis Karabakh and stressed that his background as Karabakh’s first elected president–did not give him any choice but to travel to Karabakh to mediate a solution to the almost three-week-old standoff.

The Karabakh government crisis began last month when Karabakh president Arkady Ghoukassian fired his prime minister Jirayr Poghosian and the entire cabinet and appointed Anushavan Danielian to the top post.

This decision angered the powerful defense minister Samvel Babayan and the military elite in Karabakh–forcing them on Friday to relinquish all military honors back to the president.

Gabrielian said that following meetings with Karabakh president–prime minister–defense minister–parliament speaker and other officials–the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is normal.

The president discussed with Karabakh leaders to democratically resolve all issues.

The spokesperson said Kocharian was optimistic that all parties involved have expressed desire for cooperation and furthering of communications.

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