YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–In a rare display of agreement on a major issue facing Karabakh–the political parties and groups of the Armenian parliament said on Friday that any peaceful settlement that would restore Azerbaijani control of Nagorno-Karabakh must be rejected by authorities in Yerevan.
A joint statement by all eleven factions and non-partisan groups of the National Assembly described a peace accord that would not lead to Nagorno-Karabakh’s re-unification with Armenia or international affirmation of its independent status as unacceptable. It listed the Karabakh authorities’ participation in the peace process and an "absolute guarantee of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s security among other conditions for peace.
"In the course of negotiations–no territory of Armenia must be at issue–and possible routes of communication must not be at the expense of Armenia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty," the statement said. "Any solution going beyond this is not acceptable to us," the chairman of the Yerkrapah Union’s Hayastan parliamentary group–Miasnik Malkhasian–declared at a news conference with other party leaders.
"The National Assembly has a common opinion on the issue. In the political sense–this is extremely important," said Tigran Torosian–the deputy speaker of the parliament representing the governing Republican Party (HHK). The party leaders have been regularly briefed by President Robert Kocharian on the latest international push to end the 13-year conflict. Most of them appeared satisfied with the results of the most recent such meeting held in the wake of peace talks earlier this month in Key West–Florida.
President Kocharian welcomed the joint statement–saying that it sends a clear message to the international community about the Armenian position.