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By Ruzanna Khachatrian
The Orinats Yerkir Party on Wednesday spoke out against Armenia’s formal recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state, which is sought by another opposition force represented in parliament.

Raffi Hovannisian, the leader of the Zharangutyun Party, introduced on Tuesday a relevant draft law in the National Assembly and urged the pro-government majority there to promptly debate and pass it. Majority leaders, however, rejected the initiative, saying that it would only undermine international efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict.

Mher Shahgeldian, deputy chairman of Orinats Yerkir, made similar arguments as he presented his party’s position on the issue. “If it was possible to solve the problem by such acts, many countries with such national-liberation causes would have done so,” he said. “We advocate a pro-Armenian solution to the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh and believe that the conflict’s settlement within the framework of international structures more than corresponds to this principle.”

Parliament speaker Tigran Torosian and other majority leaders claimed on Tuesday that the Zharangutyun bill is a publicity stunt aimed at earning Hovannisian and his party more political points.

Karabakh declared itself an independent state in 1991 shortly after breaking away from Azerbaijani rule but has since failed to win formal recognition by any country of the world, including Armenia. The current and former authorities in Yerevan have resisted domestic calls to recognize the dispute territory’s independence, saying that such a move would only have a symbolic significance and antagonize the international community.

(Photolur photo: Mher Shahgeldian.)
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