Armenia Should Keep Return of Getashen Shahumian in Foreign Policy Says ARF Bureau Member

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Following the opening ceremonies of the 29th World Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovhannisian weighed heavily on the topic of Getashen and Shahumian.

"The Azeris put many issues on the agenda–without taking into account that they are not real in terms of a reachable resolution," said Hovhannisian. "The issues of Shahumian and Getashen–however–are problems for real discussion."

Hovhannisian stressed that Shahumian–as a region–and Getashen–as a sub-region–have participated in all elections held in Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR)–and have representation in MKR’s National Assembly. They are–therefore–a part of MKR to the same extent as other regions.

The ARF views the return of Shahumian and Getashen as a serious and absolute issue that should not be removed from Armenia’s foreign policy agenda–according to the Bureau member.

Hovhannisian emphasized that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe does not presently have satisfactory knowledge or experience in resolving the Karabagh issue. "The Council of Europe–for example–drafted a sentence that took on very different meanings in the respective Azeri and Armenian texts–which is evidence of the fact that the organization isn’t ready today," he stressed.

Hovhannisian said that peace proposals put forth by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly and its Minsk Group–are more realistic.

Describing the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly "as a more experienced organization," Hovhannisian said the organization has formulated a new initiative–appointing a special representative Swedish MP Goran Lenmarker who visited Armenia on February 5. "He gave assurance that he will visit Mountainous Karabagh–and present a more complete picture to OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly."

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