The document put forward by the parliament’s two opposition factions also says that Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian population must be able to exercise its right to self-determination “without any limitations.”
“This is a good opportunity to show our public, our enemies and our strategic partners and friends and the international community as a whole that we have clear-cut red lines regarding our security system,” Andranik Tevanian, a lawmaker representing the opposition Hayastan alliance, said as he presented the draft resolution on the parliament floor.
The resolution was backed by only 31 members of the 107-seat National Assembly. They all are affiliated with Hayastan and the other opposition bloc, Pativ Unem.
Deputies representing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s Civil Contract party boycotted the vote. Their parliamentary leaders did not explain why exactly they blocked the opposition initiative.
“Our assessment is that the status quo registered now is a consequence of a 30-year [Armenian] foreign policy,” said Eduard Aghajanian, the chairman of the parliament committee on foreign relations.
In Tevanian’s words, the parliament’s pro-government majority objected to the proposed resolution’s reference to the “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” and its people’s self-determination. Aghajanian did not deny this.
“Our analysis is that the terminology proposed by the Hayastan factions creates risks rather than contributes to the promotion of Armenia’s peace agenda,” said the pro-government lawmaker.
The parliament controlled by Pashinian’s party rejected a similar opposition resolution earlier this year. The latest latest rebuff could give more ammunition to the prime minister’s political foes and critics who accuse him of agreeing to Azerbaijani control over Karabakh.
Pashinian said in early October that he is pressing ahead with a peace deal that will commit Armenia and Azerbaijan to recognizing each other’s territorial integrity and make no reference to Karabakh. He said it will be up to Baku and the Karabakh Armenians to negotiate on the territory’s status.
Karabakh’s leadership expressed serious concern over Pashinian’s readiness to accept these terms of the peace treaty.