ARF?s Margarian Stresses Armenia Not at A Disadvantage in Karabagh Talks

YEREVAN (YERKIR)–Commenting on the current stage of negotiations in settling the Mountainous Karabagh conflict–Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau representative Hrant Margarian said during a press conference on Thursday that it is wrong to create a defeatist environment in Armenia.

He stressed that while there is international pressure on Azerbaijan to accept that Karabagh–and probably Lachin as well–should join Armenia–the same forces pressure Armenia to accept the return of liberated territories to Azerbaijan.

"I don’t believe there is an Armenian who wants the liberated territories to be returned," Margarian said. "I admit–however–that the issue can be touched on during negotiations–soley for tactical reasons."

He said that Azerbaijan–even in principal–refuses to consider the issue of ceding Karabagh to Armenia–and instead of negotiating–resorts to militant rhetoric.

Pointing to Azerbaijan’s position–he asked–"Why do we then create a seemingly defeatist mood among our people?"

"This is unwise–to say the least. Our people have paid a big price for the liberation of Karabagh and will not let anyone surrender territories." He added that concessions should not include Karabagh’s sovereignty–national identity–and present borders.

Speaking about Armenia’s coalition government–he said that it is ineffective–and just beyond a "formality."

"Let no one cheat anyone else. It is the reality of this country. We must look at this reality with open eyes–with courage–and be able to find solutions. Our new approach is that we will make every effort for the coalition to start working soon," Margarian concluded.

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