The Holy Sees of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia issued separate statements decrying and condemning an announcement by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who confirmed on Monday that he had agreed to recognize Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan.
Both Catholicosates said that Pashinyan’s statement was “unacceptable”
“By recognizing the Republic of Artsakh as a part of Azerbaijan, the Armenian authorities would inevitably leave our brothers and sisters in Artsakh facing a new genocide and loss of the homeland,” read a statement issued by the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Holy See of Etchmiadzin after convening an emergency session on Tuesday.
“The independence of Artsakh and the territories of Armenia gained at the cost of the blood of our children are not subject to bargaining,” added the statement, calling on the Armenian government to “abandon this defeatist intent.”
“We believe that a decisive expression of the will of our people on this issue is imperative,” the Etchmiadzin statement said.
In a similar statement issued on Tuesday, the Holy See of Cilicia expressed it complete solidarity with a declaration adopted late Monday by the Artsakh National Assembly, condemning Pashinyan for his posturing on the matter.
“On December 10, 1991, Artsakh already expressed its collective will for sovereignty through a referendum, which was followed by a decision, on July 8, 1992, by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia, which re-emphasized the sovereignty of Artsakh,” said the Cilician Catholicosate.
“According to international law, a nation has the right to self-determination. Therefore, the just right of the people of Artsakh to determine for themselves cannot fall victim to attempts to establish a comprehensive peace within the region and to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” the Antelias statement said.
“It is imperative to be vigilant, far-sighted and especially determined. Including Artsakh as part Azerbaijan will not only endanger the security of the people of Artsakh, but also the sovereignty and security of Armenia,” said the Cilician Catholicosate. “At this critical juncture in our history, we appeal to all Armenians to unite and support Artsakh.”