Speaking in the Armenian parliament earlier in the day, Pashinian said Armenia is facing international pressure to scale back its long-standing demands on Karabakh’s status and recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. He signaled Yerevan’s intention to make such concessions to Baku, stoking Armenian opposition allegations that he has agreed to Azerbaijani control over Karabakh.
Harutiunian discussed Pashinian’s statement with Karabakh civil society members at a meeting in Stepanakert. His press office said they “expressed outrage” at the remarks and demanded that Karabakh’s leadership formulate a “clear political position” on them.
The Karabakh leader assured them that the authorities in Stepanakert will continue to assert the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination.
Harutiunian went on to hold a separate meeting with other Karabakh officials and the leaders of the territory’s main political parties. He said he convened it because Pashinian’s statement has “caused serious concern among the public.”
“Our society presents very clear demands which we must meet by organizing meaningful and comprehensive discussions,” added Harutiunian.
Harutiunian’s foreign minister, Davit Babayan, insisted late last month that the Karabakh Armenians will never agree to live under Azerbaijani rule.
“This is the red line which we will never cross regardless of anything,” Babayan told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.