Nagorno-Karabakh’s political leadership expressed hope on Friday that the political crisis in Armenia will be resolved soon “in a peaceful and legal way.”
Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, discussed the recent dramatic developments in Yerevan with visiting representatives of the four political groups represented in Armenia’s parliament. According to his press office, Sahakian told them that “internal political stability” in Armenia is also vital for Karabakh’s security.
The Armenian parliamentary delegation visiting Stepanakert included Ararat Mirzoyan, a close associate of opposition leader Nikol Pashinian, who looks set to become Armenia’s new leader after three weeks of massive protests that have forced Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian to resign.
Sahakian travelled to Armenia nearly two weeks ago to try to help defuse mounting political tensions there. He held a series of political consultations with Pashinian, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and former Presidents Robert Kocharian and Levon Ter-Petrosian last week.
Karabakh’s Armenian-backed military said, meanwhile, that Azerbaijan could exploit the political turmoil in Yerevan and launch offensive military operations along “the line of contact” around Karabakh. Baku denied massing troops and military hardware there, however.
Incidentally, the commander of Karabakh’s Defense Army, Lieutenant General Levon Mnatsakanian, was also preset at Sahakian’s meeting with the Armenian parliamentarians.
A top aide to Sahakian, Davit Babayan, said earlier in the day that he hopes the crisis will be resolved “as soon as possible.” He also indicated that the Karabakh leadership is prepared for a leadership change in Armenia.
“If the people of Armenia and all political forces represented in Armenia’s parliament make a choice congruent with the constitution and laws and help to stabilize the internal political situation, what can Artsakh (Karabakh) say? Artsakh is ready to work with leaders elected by the will of Armenia’s people and political forces,” Babayan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
While in Stepanakert, the Armenian lawmakers were also due to meet with their Karabakh colleagues.
“I think it’s important for us to understand how the parties represented in [Armenia’s] National Assembly have responded to these events and what lessons they have learned,” said Hayk Khanumian, an opposition member of Karabakh’s parliament. “After all, something amazing has happened: the Armenian society has become more mature than Armenia’s political elite.”