Opposition MP Pashinyan came to meeting with PM Sargsyan with refusal agenda: Vice Speaker Sharmazanov calls for dialogue
YEREVAN, APRIL 22, ARMENPRESS. Eduard Sharmazanov – Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Armenia, says the April 22 meeting of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan and opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan failed as Pashinyan came not to negotiate, but to dictate his conditions.
Sharmazanov told Armenpress that since April 18 the leadership made calls for dialogue, tolerance and solidarity. “On April 18, I, as Vice Speaker of the Parliament, spokesperson of the Republican Party, on April 19 President Armen Sarkissian, the ARF, then Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, the political forces, yesterday already numerous political structures and NGOs starting from yerkrapahs up to the Georgian-Armenian Union, called for dialogue. Yesterday the meeting of the President and Pashinyan was held, and today the presence of PM Sargsyan is a vivid proof that the leadership sees the solution of the issue exclusively through dialogue, patience and solidarity. But I should note with regret that one of the sides, more precisely, Mr. Pashinyan, came not to negotiate, to hold dialogue, but to put preconditions or dictate his conditions. In such circumstances negotiation is impossible. He said live that he didn’t come for dialogue. So what? It means he came to talk with ultimatums? This is the problem”, Sharmazanov said.
Commenting on Pashinyan’s statements who blames the leadership in being inadequate, the Vice Speaker said Nikol Pashinyan and his actions are inadequate, rather than the leadership. “During these days the Police demonstrated restraint and tolerance, but everything cannot be disturbed constantly. There is a political issue, let’s solve, discuss it, make legislative changes, provide new rights to the opposition and discuss the political agenda. But to come and say that “I have not arrived for dialogue, but to say that you must leave”, in case when there is a legally elected parliament and leadership, this is not a dialogue. And from the very start today’s talks failed as one of the sides didn’t come for dialogue, we once again call for dialogue, tolerance, solidarity and solving the issue exclusively through political means, but never to dictate conditions by one group of the society”, the Vice Speaker noted.
Asked what steps the leadership is ready to take to ease the compliant of citizens participating in protests and organizers of these actions, Sharmazanov said they are ready to hold dialogue within a political agenda. “The leadership by its exclusively peaceful and tolerant actions showed that it doesn’t need instability. We do not have enemies and adversaries in our country. All protesters, starting from the most radical ones up to the peaceful ones, are our brothers and sisters. But when you go to negotiations, you should know that there is a political agenda. You go and say that “I have not arrived for holding dialogue”. Refusal is the evil of everything. And today Mr. Pashinyan went to meet with an agenda – that is the refusal, rather than a dialogue. We propose dialogue which was talked about yesterday also by Mr. Edmon Marukyan and many political forces, rather than a refusal, and the place for dialogue is the Parliament”, Sharmazanov noted.
Asked whether a new Sargsyan-Pashinyan meeting is possible, which Yelk faction MP Edmon Marukyan expressed a wish for, Sharmazanov said everything depends on Pashinyan’s position. “We came for dialogue, and you saw via live broadcast that for the first time in history the country’s leader came to meet with the leader of protests. I do not remember such event in our newly-independent history. Neither Levon Ter-Petrosyan nor Robert Kocharyan [former presidents] went to meet. And also there hasn’t been such an event when President Armen Sarkissian met with Nikol Pashinyan in the Republic Square. And all this, this energy can be used in a better way for the sake of the improvement, strengthening of our country, rather than against. Against is an evil, let’s work for the sake of: including the leadership, the opposition, the protesters, the citizens, the reporters, we all. My call to everyone – let’s sober up and move on through dialogue”, Eduard Sharmazanov concluded.
PM Serzh Sargsyan and MP Nikol Pashinyan met on April 22 in the Marriott Hotel in Republic Square of Yerevan, the main rally site where every evening demonstrators gather to protest.
The meeting was held in the presence of numerous reporters who were broadcasting live.
The meeting lasted only a few minutes, after which the PM left the meeting hall. After the meeting, Pashinyan resumed marching in the streets of Yerevan, while many began to call for another meeting and dialogue. During the march in Erebuni administrative district opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, MP Ararat Mirzoyan and MP Sasun Michaelyan, have been removed from the location of the rally by police officers.
Earlier first deputy prime minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan also issued a statement calling on all political forces, the citizens of Armenia to demonstrate vigilance and soberness.
In a statement the Union of Georgian-Armenians called to sober up and move on through peaceful means.
The Pan-Armenian Association of Architects and Engineers as well addressed a statement calling to launch dialogue to peacefully solve the current situation.
English translator/editor – Aneta Harutyunyan