ARF to Support Karabakh Recognition Bill
YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The parliamentary faction of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation will support a proposed bill to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, said the bloc’s president Vahan Hovannesian on Tuesday during the discussion of the bill in parliament.
“If the bill on recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is put to a vote in the Armenian Parliament, the ARF faction will vote for it,” announced Hovannesian, explaining that his part was initially opposed to a discussion of the matter by the legislature as it believed the issue of Karabakh’s recognition should have unanimous consent among all parties represented in the parliament.
A bill that calls on Armenia to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was introduced in parliament by the Heritage faction and was scheduled for discussion on Tuesday. However, a vote was postponed to the next parliamentary session, scheduled to take place on October 25.
Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian requested the delay, given the lack of support from the Armenian government and the pro-government parliamentary majority which says the passage of such a bill would impede the Karabakh peace process currently mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group.
Hovannesian stressed that the participation of all parliament members in the discussion and voting of such a resolution was imperative for the proper political message to resonate. He called the government’s and the ruling faction’s position on the matter “uncompromising.”
Last month, chairman of the parliament’s committee on foreign relations Armen Rustamian, who is the chairman of the ARF Supreme Council of Armenia, proposed the adoption of a declaration of a strategic alliance between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Rustamian had argued that such a declaration would have aligned the political activities of Armenia and Karabakh, while, at the same time, would not have disturbed the negotiations process as feared by official Yerevan.
Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan told parliament Tuesday that official Yerevan was always guided by the will of the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic vis-à-vis the recognition of the Karabakh’s independence by the international community.
Kocharyan assured parliament that Karabakh would become a full party to the negotiations at some stage in the future.