YEREVAN, October 4. /ARKA/. Armenian government has declined Zharangutiun (Heritage) party’s initiative on recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s independence, Novosti-Armenia reported on Thursday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kochayan, speaking today at a regular Cabinet meeting, said he found it not reasonable to discuss the matter now.
Talk about the necessity of official recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s recognition by Armenia intensified in early September after Hungary extradited Lt. Ramil Safarov who had hacked Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan to death with an axe when the latter was sleeping. Both officers were attending the NATO-sponsored language course in Budapest in February 2004. Safarov was sentences by Hungarian court to life in prison but after the extradition was pardoned by Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliev.
In early September, the party’s faction asked the Parliament to consider the bill on recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, but the bill was rejected.
Zharangutiun has repeatedly come up with this initiative. In December 2010, the majority of Armenian National Assembly voted down a similar bill. Only 13 MPs voted for it.
Zharangutiun (Heritage), a national liberal party, was founded in 2002 by Raffi Hovhannisian, a former foreign minister. Now the party has some 5,000 members. In the 2012 parliamentary elections the party won five seats in the National Assembly.
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it.
Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations.
Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France. -0-