Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   16 January

Nikol Pashinyan presents views on NK conflict settlement in parliament ahead of vote

YEREVAN, MAY 1, ARMENPRESS. According to Nikol Pashinyan, the negotiations over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement will have a meaning only in case when Azerbaijan will address a very clear message to the international community that it commits to respect and recognize norms of international law and is ready for the issue’s settlement within the framework of these norms.

During the ongoing parliamentary debates on the election of Prime Minister, where Pashinyan is the only nominated candidate, Tsarukyan faction MP Tigran Urikhanyan asked the opposition leader about his approach in the NK conflict settlement issue. Pashinyan responded by saying that in conditions when the Azerbaijani leadership, in person of Ilham Aliyev, doesn’t miss any occasion to threaten Artsakh and Armenia and even speaks about intentions on capturing the Armenian capital – the negotiations have a formal nature.

“These are negotiations for the sake of negotiations and not for settlement, because, as long as there is no settlement atmosphere a settlement cannot happen,” he said.

Pashinyan says he expects that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing countries will immediately use their influence and reputation from holding Azerbaijan back from using bellicose rhetoric, because this is the condition brought forward by the OSCE Minsk Group itself – that not only the use of force, but also the threat of force must be ruled out in the settlement process.

“As long as the threat of use of force isn’t ruled out, we, as a state, must unite our power for defending ourselves from aggression,” he said.

The extraordinary sitting has kicked off in the Armenian parliament where lawmakers are debating the election of a new Prime Minister. 102 MPs are in attendance.

The only nominated candidate for Prime Minister is opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan.

Pashinyan was nominated by the opposition Yelk faction.

Two other factions – Tsarukyan and the ARF – have endorsed the opposition MPs candidacy.

Pashinyan will need at least 53 votes to be elected Prime Minister, which means he will require at least 6 votes from the ruling party.

There are 4 factions in the Armenian parliament. The Republican Party (HHK) faction, the ruling party of Armenia, has 58 seats in the 105-seat unicameral parliament of Armenia – known as the National Assembly.  The ARF faction – (Armenian Revolutionary Federation aka Dashnaktsutyun), has 7 seats. The Tsarukyan alliance has 31 seats, and the Yelk faction has 9 seats. 

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan


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