Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan

Row Between Armenian, Karabakh Leaders ‘Settled’

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The leaders of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh have normalized their relations following a recent public spat, a senior official in Yerevan insisted on Friday, July 26.

“The relationship between Yerevan and Stepanakert is in a very good state at the moment,” said Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council. “There were some problems but those problems are now a thing of the past.”

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan charged in May that unnamed “forces representing the former corrupt system” are intent on provoking a war with Azerbaijan, losing “some territories” and blaming that defeat on Armenia’s current government. He effectively pointed the finger at Karabakh’s leadership.

In early June, Pashiniyan accused the authorities in Stepanakert of spreading false claims about significant territorial concessions to Azerbaijan planned by his government. Bako Sahakyan, the Karabakh president, was quick to deny that.

The secretary of Sahakyan’s national security council, Vitaly Balasanian, was relieved of his duties a few days later. Balasanyan had publicly scoffed at Pashinyan’s confidence-building understandings reached with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev late last year. The remarks sparked a war of words between Balasanyan and Pashinyan’s press secretary, Vladimir Karapetian.

The Armenian premier was also irked by a written petition by Sahakyan and his predecessor Arkadi Ghukasyan which facilitated the release from prison on May 18 of Robert Kocharyan, Armenia’s Karabakh-born former president facing coup and corruption charges. Kocharyan was arrested again on June 25.

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Grigoryan, who visited Stepanakert last week, declined to comment on the “problems” between Yerevan and Stepanakert. “The problems have been talked about in public and discussed during meetings,” he told reporters.

 

 

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