Politics 14:32 04/07/2023 Armenia

Former FM joins initiative against Artsakh's surrender to Azerbaijan

Armenia’s former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian has joined the initiative of a group of Armenian political activists and public figures seeking to criminalize Artsakh’s (Nagorno-Karabakh) recognition as part of Azerbaijan.

The Hayakve ballot initiative started last week collecting signatures in support of its amendments to Armenia’s Criminal Code which would make the surrender of Artsakh to Azerbaijan and the renunciation of the Armenian Genocide recognition campaign crimes punishable by between 10 and 15 years in jail.

It came after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's reiterated his readiness to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Artsakh through an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty.

“I believe it’s worth joining any initiative that would help grab Pashinyan's hand and stop him from signing such a document,” Oskanian told reporters after signing the Hayakve’s petition on Tuesday.

He highlighted the initiative as a strong message to the Armenian authorities and international community that the Armenian people reject the government’s plans to surrender Artsakh to Azerbaijan.

According to Oskanian, despite the fact that over 50% of the Armenian population oppose Artsakh’s incorporation into Azerbaijan, the Armenian authorities ignore the people's opinion.

"Initiatives of the kind which would criminalize the signing of such a document are extremely important," Oskanian said, urging all to back the effort.

The former minister brushed aside Pashinyan's claims that the former Armenian leaders had already recognized Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan.

“Pashinyan is the first leader to have done it and he is now trying to formalize it through a relevant document. This has to be stopped,” Oskanian stressed.

He blamed the Armenian premier’s reckless policies for the outbreak of the 2020 Artsakh war.

Oskanian questioned the claims that Artsakh’s surrender to Azerbaijan is demanded by the international community. He believes the international community seeks a quick solution to the Karabakh conflict but is not interested in the exact way it will be achieved.

"Today, Nikol Pashinyan shows the international community the easiest way – to surrender Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan. Of course, the international community will assist Pashinyan in every way possible in order to achieve a solution to the conflict," he stated.



Source Panorama.am
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