The Karabakh issue: From the UN General Assembly to the Armenian National Assembly

Lilit Galstyan: Yerevan must be more proactive

In a September 10 interview with ARF-D parliamentary faction member Lilit Galstyan said the fact that Azerbaijan withdrew its proposed draft resolution, “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan: Observance of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” from the agenda of the 64th session of the U.N. General Assembly can only be welcomed. The parliamentarian went on to say, however, that Armenian authorities should not be satisfied with this accomplishment.

“The one positive thing in this process is that similar Azerbaijani initiatives force Armenia’s foreign ministry to awake from its slumber and execute active measures, however, it is not good enough to be satisfied with what has been accomplished and pleased that it was possible to halt the discussion of this issue at this particular session,” Galstyan stated. “We must work diligently not only when Azerbaijan demonstrates initiatives but constantly to ensure similar initiatives are prevented.” Galstyan underscored that Yerevan must be more proactive and raise the issue of Hai Daht (the Armenian Cause) at all international structures and forums.

On September 9, Azerbaijan withdrew its proposed draft resolution which spoke about the necessity of the right of return of Azerbaijani refugees and displaced persons, the protection of cultural heritage and also the situation in the “occupied territories.”

Giro Manoyan: The postponement of the resolution was expected

ARF-Dashnaktsutyun international secretariat director Giro Manoyan, in an interview with on September 10, said that to some extent the postponement of the discussion of the Azerbaijani resolution in the UN General Assembly was expected from the moment the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs issued the most recent joint statement.

According to Manoyan, the Co-chairs’ joint statement contained their upcoming plans, which include a “field assessment mission to observe the humanitarian situation in the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh,” just as the Azerbaijani resolution called upon “the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to dispatch urgently a multinational fact-finding mission, composed of the representatives of the participating States of the Organization with the relevant expertise, to inquire into and report on the observance of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the conflict-affected territories in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region…”

Manoyan opined that the reason the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries wanted to avoid the adoption of the Azerbaijani resolution by the UN General Assembly is because that would really have brought the failure of the negotiations.

This is not the first time that Azerbaijan is taking such a step. Azerbaijan wants to derail the process and to take the issue to instances where the discussion of the conflict is done superficially. I think our work, meaning the state diplomacy and the work of the public, can to some extent minimize the success of such conduct. The most important issue should be to make the UN member states voting in the General Assembly realize that the UN Security Council has decided that in this issue it supports the process undertaken by the OSCE,” concluded the ARF-D spokesperson.

Armen Rustamyan: ARF to abstain from voting on MKR independence bill

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun will abstain from voting on the bill on recognition of the Moutnainous (Nagorno) Karabakh Republic as an independent state, submitted by the Heritage Party, Armen Rustamyan, Chairman of the ARF-D Executive Council told the media today, September 14.

The Armenian parliament is scheduled to debate the bill drafted by the opposition Heritage party on October 5.

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service, said the Armenian and Karabakh governments should themselves jointly choose “the right moment” for such recognition. “This is a serious national issue, and as long as there is no such agreement … we can not pursue a unilateral line that can not produce any results and can only raise questions,” he said.

According to him, the party’s voting against the document may be misinterpreted inside and outside Armenia. “But we are against putting the issue on the agenda in this way,” Rustamyan said, “such a resolution should be adopted unanimously, but even if we vote in favor, it will not pass, because the parliamentary majority is against the resolution. In our opinion, the resolution should be discussed in parliament, but should not be voted upon, so that it will not be refused,” stressed the ARF-D leader. Armenia should have de jure recognized the MKR in 1991, when the MKR declared its independence and called upon the world to recognize it.

In Rustamyan’s words, Yerevan and Stepanakert should instead form a “military-political alliance, so that the world recognizes the fact that Armenia is the security guarantor of MKR.”

Proposed by the Heritage Party, the bill was criticized by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations chaired by Armen Rustamyan, who stressed that Armenia has already de facto recognized the MKR.