Prime Minister Opposes Artsakh Territorial Concessions
YEREVAN—Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan on Friday said that he does not support the option of territorial concessions for peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday to sum the 100 days of his prime ministership, Karapetyan was asked whether he supported the option of conceding territories in return for a political status. “No,” he said, “I do not support that.”
“I am confident that we have an option to defend our aspirations, our security, our victory in a setting of logical negotiations,” added Karapetyan.
“It is not logical at the moment to speak about various scenarios in the negotiations and their results. But the negotiations need to be continued,” said the prime minister.
“Mutual concessions relate not only to the territories, but also to status, and other aspects. I do not think that any person in the Republic of Armenia who is responsible to make such a decision will make a decision that our nation, our citizens would oppose,” proclaimed Karapetyan.
“That is such a great responsibility that I do not see that person who can abandon his norms and go to that,” added Karapetyan, presumably referring to a decision to concede territories.
In conjunction with the press conference, the prime minister’s office released a 100-page report detailing the government’s activities of the past 100 days.
During the press conference, however, Karapetyan detailed some of his offices activities, saying that the Armenian government is on the right path to boosting the country’s economy.
“Our major challenge during these months has been to give indications in order for the public to understand that we are moving forward on the right path. We have presented our plan and the reforms we are going to enact,” said Karapetyan.
“I can confidently state that we are moving forward on the right path and will succeed,” he added.
In response to several questions regarding whether he will run for parliament during the April 2 election. Karapetyan admitted that a constitutional provision that stipulates a person must have resided in the country for five years before his candidacy could prevent him from running on the ruling Republican Party of Armenia’s slate.
“For the past five years I have been a citizen of the Republic of Armenia and lived outside Yerevan. Does the [constitutional] restriction cover the period of my residency? Can I be on the Republican Party’s [electoral] list? I don’t know the answer to this question,” he said. “If it covers, then I won’t be on the list,” added Karapetian.
He indicated that he would be inclined to continue to serve as prime minister after the 2018 presidential elections, which completes the constitutional reforms of making Armenia a parliamentary form of government. He said that can only happen if his program succeeds.
On Thursday, Karapetyan briefed foreign diplomats based in Yerevan saying that Armenian government was committed to holding democratic elections, combatting corruption and implementing far-reaching economic reforms.
Karapetyan said that the upcoming parliamentary should have a “fundamentally new quality.”
“We stand ready to do everything to ensure that these elections are transparent,” he told the diplomats.
Link: Prime Minister Opposes Artsakh Territorial Concessions