Coalition Partners Prepared to Resume Talks with Opposition

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian urged leaders of Armenia’s main governing and opposition parties on Wednesday–to restart talks on ways of defusing the month-long political tensions in the country.

In a statement–Baghdasarian said he invites the leaders of all parliamentary factions to attend further "political consultations" that will take place in his office on Thursday. The statement adds that the Council of Europe’s calls for a "dialogue without preconditions" between the authorities and the opposition necessitates resumption of talks.

Opposition leaders indicated their support for renewed talks–also citing the resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last week–but insisted that President Kocharian must also become directly involved in the proposed dialogue.

The first round of talks between the opposition and the governing Armenian Revolutionary Federation–Orinats Yerkir–and Republican parties broke down last week.

The leaders of the Artarutyun (Justice) alliance and the National Unity Party (AMK) announced on Tuesday that they are taking a "ten-day break" in their campaign of anti-Kocharian street protests–but still insist that dialogue must focus on President Kocharian’s resignation.

The parliament majority rejects preconditions–proposing instead that the opposition be given say in government policy-making.

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