November 30, 2006


During an interview that was broadcast on Public Radio of Armenia today, Armen Roustamyan, a member of the ARF faction and Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations in the National Assembly of Armenia, categorically stated that the ARF would pull out of the governing coalition and move into the ranks of the political opposition if the Kocharian government makes territorial concessions in the Karabakh peace talks that negatively impact on the longterm security of the NKR.

Mr. Roustamyan noted that the issue of the liberated lands surrounding the NKR and their future status cannot be divorced from the overall peace talks regarding the NKR's future status and thus should not be viewed as "bargaining chips" in any quid pro quo "lands for peace" deal.

The ARF spokesman also described the fact that the NKR does not participate in the negotiations regarding its future as "absurd". He elaborated that since Karabakh was involved in a war, it must now, out of principle, be engaged in any and all peace talks.

Commenting on the ARF's understanding of the term "Hay Dat" (Հայ Դատ), Mr. Roustamyan cited the Treaty of Sevres and the boundaries drawn by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson as the basis for a "future" Armenian state.

(Pokr Mher - We at SASSNA DZRER have been following the news regarding the meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan that recently took place in Minsk at which the Karabakh issue was discussed. After reading what has been written and reading the statements, and lack thereof, of various government official on both sides, we are left with more questions than answers. While President Aliyev of Azerbaijan talks about "approaching the final stage of negotiations", in the same breath he categorically declares that his guiding principle of "territorial integrity" has not changed. If this is the case, why then does Armenia's Foreign Minister Oskanian describe the talk as "constructive"? In addition, the people in Nagorno-Karabakh will be voting on whether to accept a new Constituion on December 10th. Many have commented that the issue of the boundaries of the NKR have been left somewhat vague and undefined in the text of the new constitution. It merely states that the boundaries of the NKR are those that "are in place" at the time. Further definition is postponed till later. We have also visited various NKR official websites to read what those in Stepanakert have to say regarding the Minsk talks, but we failed to see any official statements on the topic. MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS.........)

One final point regarding the Treaty as Sevres being the basis for the territorial boundaries of a future Armenian state...If the Armenian people, in the Republic of Armenia, NKR, and the diaspora, collectively, cannot safeguard and preserve the precious little that has been liberated in Artsakh and Kashatagh, then Armenians should no longer speak of an Armenia that stretches from "sea to sea".


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