By Karine Kalantarian in Stepanakert
A group of Armenian parliamentarians began on Wednesday a two-day meeting with their colleagues in Nagorno-Karabakh which will discuss, among other issues, the unrecognized republic’s plans to enact a constitution.
The Armenian delegation led by deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian arrived in Stepanakert earlier in the day for a regular session of a commission on inter-parliamentary cooperation between Armenia and Karabakh. Torosian said the commission will focus on “issues related to the future constitution of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” on Thursday.
Plans for such a constitution were revealed by NKR President Arkady Ghukasian in an interview with RFE/RL last February. Ghukasian said an ad hoc commission headed by him has long been working on the text of the basic law and intends to submit its first draft to the Karabakh legislature in the second half of this year. Karabakh officials said the final draft will likely be put to a referendum before the end of 2006.
Other government sources in Stepanakert told RFE/RL that the planned constitution will declare Karabakh a “sovereign” state.
It is still not clear whether the content of the proposed Karabakh constitution would be affected by a possible breakthrough in the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks. International mediators have reportedly proposed that the disputed region’s status be determined in at least ten years from now.