Markarian Reaffirms ARF’s Position On Karabakh

YEREVAN (combined sources)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) remains opposed to significant concessions to Azerbaijan and will challenge President Robert Kocharian if he goes too far in pursuing a compromise settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh–said ARF Bureau senior member Hrant Markarian on Friday during a news conference at the National Press Club of Armenia.

"The ARF will no doubt fight [against the government’s Karabakh policy] when the right time comes–when we see a danger," Hrant Markarian told reporters. But he said there will be no attempts to undermine political stability in the country. Markarian also blamed Azerbaijan’s unwillingness to accept the proposals set forth by the OSCE Minsk Group–as the reason for the postponement of the next stage of talks on Karabakh.

He said his party is against withdrawal from some of the Armenian-controlled Azerbaijani territories in exchange for de-facto independence. Karabakh must be linked to Armenia not only through the Lachin district but also the adjacent regions of Kelbajar–Gubatly and Zangelan–according to Markarian. He also said that the districts should be repopulated by Armenia’s.

Markarian also urged the authorities to make all details of the peace process public. "The Karabakh issue is not a privatization tender to be kept secret," he said.

Hrant Markarian’s interview will be reported in detail in a subsequent issue of Asbarez. The ARF Bureau representative also touched upon the October 27 trial–and the internal political situation in Armenia.

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