Karabakh Urges Disclosure of Armenia-Turkey Deal

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Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister Georgi Petrossian speaking in Washington DC in 2006.

STEPANEKERT (Combined Sources)–Addressing the National Assembly of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Foreign Minister Georgi Petrosian said that the people of Karabakh believe that the details of the so-called “roadmap” signed by Turkey, Armenia and Switzerland last week need to be disclosed.

Petrosian was answering parliament members’ questions regarding the Armenia-Turkey agreement. The Karabakh deputies expressed concern that decision being made by Armenia on the roadmap agreement could be unbeneficial for Karabakh.

While saying that he believed that Karabakh would not be adversely affected by the Turkish-Armenian process, he reiterated the ongoing insistence by Karabakh that it be a part of the negotiation process.

Thus, he said, the upcoming meeting between Armenian and Azeri presidents on May 7, could not conclude with an agreement because Karabakh’s positions have not been reflected.

“When the negotiations include the Karabakh side, we will be able to present our approaches, proposals and demands,” said Petrosian, adding that the Karabakh leadership would not accept any document that goes counter to the interests of the people of Karabakh.

Petrosian also pointed out that Karabakh sharply disagreed with some of the basic principles outlined in the so-called Madrid proposal, which serves as a guide for the OSCE Minsk Group negotiation process.

“I can say that Nagorno-Karabakh’s position has not changed. Our right to self-determination, our independence and our security are principles that should be defended by any leader,” said Petrosian, adding that if these principles are disregarded during the process the Karabakh side will toughen its stance.

Following the National Assembly session, a member of the Democratic Party of Artsakh, Zhanna Galstyan, held a press conference, during which she held the Karabakh leadership accountable for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

“Today, the people of Karabakh believe that the most important achievement of the past 20 years, namely the unity of Armenia, the Diaspora and Karabakh are being threatened,” said Glastyan, who also chairs the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Parliament’s standing commission on defense and national security.

“We have always viewed the Artskah issue as a part of the Armenian Cause. And by threatening one of its components we are in fact threatening the entirety of the Armenian Cause,” said Galstyan.

She also took issue with the confidentiality surrounding the Karabakh negotiations, explaining that it was only the Armenian side that adhered to this principle, since the Turkish and Azeri press is filled with leaks about the so-called principles driving the negotiations.

She urged Foreign Minister Petrosian to confer with his colleagues in Armenia and tell them that “the time for such diplomatic games has long passed.”

“I believe that all the details of the negotiations must not only be provided to members of parliament but they must be explained to every citizen of Artsakh; To all the parents who lost children, wives who lost husbands, the orphans, to all those who spent their childhood in basements and cellars,” said Galstyan.

Galstyan also said that she would like to invite the foreign ministers of Karabakh and Armenia to the National Assembly for a frank discussion on the topic, adding however, that she believed “it was possible that the Armenian foreign minister wouldn’t show.” For this reason, she said, Petrosian should speak with his counterpart Eduard Nalbandian “so that the next time he would be able to answer questions more completely”.

This way, she said, “united, as a nation, we will sit down and decide our next steps.”

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