Karabakh Political Parties Demand Direct Role for Stepanakert in Peace Talks

karabakh parliament (Medium)

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–A number of political parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have called for the direct participation of the republic in the negotiating process currently conducted between Armenia and Azerbaijan and warned against “jeopardizing” the security of the indigenous people living in Karabakh.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday, eight political parties, among them four represented in Karabakh’s parliament, said that “the ouster of Karabakh from the negotiating process, the actual disregard of its statehood and the manifestations of discriminative approaches towards the resolution of the conflict at the current stage doom the efforts in the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement to failure.”

The statement presented by representative of the Karabakh Central Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation David Ishkhanian also says:

“We reiterate our demand – to respect the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, to secure Nagorno-Karabakh’s participation in the conflict settlement process as a full party, not to jeopardize the security of Nagorno-Karabakh’s people, the main guarantee of which is the independent statehood of Nagorno-Karabakh and territorial integrity consolidated by the Nagorno-Karabakh constitution.”

The statement of the Karabakh political parties comes on the eve of President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to Russian capital Moscow where the Armenian leader is due to continue internationally mediated talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

The two presidents last week were publicly urged by the Presidents of Russia, France and the US to endorse an updated version of peace proposals that are to be presented during the Moscow talks by international mediators from the OSCE Minsk

The joint statement issued at the G8 summit in Italy on July 10 called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to “to resolve the few differences remaining between them” based on an updated version of the “Basic Principles” advanced by the international mediators working in the OSCE Minsk Group in the November 2007 Madrid Document.

Concerns about the prospects of the Nagorno Karabakh peace process have been high in recent weeks, as speculation grows over the mediators’ attempts to pressure Armenia into making uneven concessions to Azerbaijan over the mountainous republic’s future.

Those issues were discussed at a pan-Armenian conference held at the Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s capital, Stepanakert, on July 10-11, where 135 Armenian leaders from some 25 countries, representing a broad cross-section of the political, academic, religious, business and civil society leadership from Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh, and the Diaspora discussed the ongoing Karabakh negotiations and unanimously adopted a resolution urging Armenia not to sign any agreement on Karabakh, urging Stepanakert’s direct participation in the talks, and calling for vigilance in the face of pressure to adopt a “hasty solution to the problem and Azerbaijan’s belligerent statements.”

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