Azerbaijan Won’t Compromise Hautiunian Says

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Speaker of the National Assembly Khosrov Harutiunian–in Paris for a meeting of the Commission on Political Issues of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly–said Wednesday that the resolution of the Karabakh conflict seemed difficult because Azerbaijan is against any type of compromise.

Harutiunian–who led the Armenian delegation–discussed the Karabakh conflict with participants in the context of Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe. The hearings–which were held on the initiative of the Commission was also attended by Nagorno-Karabakh president Arkady Ghoukassian.

Azerbaijan refused the Commission’s invitation.

Harutiunian said that these discussions such as the Commission organized one give the parties to the conflict an opportunity to present their standpoint on the settlement of the conflict. The Armenian legislator expressed regret at the Azeri refusal of the Commission’s invitation.

"Apparently–it is impossible to work out a universal principle for settling conflicts as each conflict has its own background and anatomy. For that very reason Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh–even though with some reservations–responded positively to the latest proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group–considering their concept to be in the nature of a compromise and aimed at getting the negotiating process back on track. It is another proof that Armenia is seeking cooperation with the international community," said Harutiunian.

He explained–"Last year–Armenia–and this year Azerbaijan–rejected the proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group–however–with Armenia rejecting the marginal proposals–Azerbaijan is rejecting the very idea of a compromise. That is the basic difference in our positions."

Harutiunian stressed that the cease-fire established in 1994 and observed up to now was due to the agreement between the parliamen’s of Armenia–Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe–Harutiunian believes–will not only give Armenia a possibility to get actively involved in the processes of European integration in the political–social and humanitarian spheres–but also promote deeper democratic processes in society and the establishment of a law-abiding state. In this regard–Harutiunian referred to the importance of next year’s parliamentary elections in Armenia.

Arkady Ghoukassian presented his country’s stance during the Paris hearings.

Harutiunian also met with Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Bruno Haller. The two pointed to the importance of parliamentary contacts within the framework of regional cooperation which will promote the formation of realistic approaches among the conflicting sides as well as the establishment of an atmosphere of mutual trust.

Harutiunian also met with PACE Commission for Political Issues expert on Armenia Demetrio Volchik of Italy to discuss the recent visit of the latter to Armenia–the line-up of political forces in the Armenian Parliament–economic liberalization–investment policy as well as the debate over the Election Code to be held in the National Assembly soon.

The same day–Harutiunian met with the chairman of the PACE Commission for Political Issues Andreas Barsoni. During the meeting–Harutiunian gave assurances that democratic processes had evoked a response in Armenia as well. Both regretted at Azerbaijan having decided to refuse the meeting invitation.

As part of the visit–Armenian parliamentarians attended the opening ceremony for the public and political information office of Nagorno Karabakh.

At the Armenian Embassy in France–the delegations of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh met with representatives of Armenian mass media based in France as well as with representatives of Armenian-French societies.


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