YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — The Armenian Apostolic Church on Friday, May 20, warned Armenia political leadership against compromising on Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self-determination in peace talks with Azerbaijan.
The church’s Supreme Spiritual Council headed by Catholicos Karekin II said it must not make such concessions “regardless of existing pressures and external threats.”
“Peace cannot be established through the humiliation of national dignity, amid incessant encroachments on the territorial integrity of our state, the presence of prisoners of war, and Azerbaijan’s constant threats and propaganda of anti-Armenianism,” the council said after a three-day meeting held at the church’s Mother See in Echmiadzin.
It said the Armenian authorities must make sure that the Karabakh Armenians right to self-determination does not become “a subject of bargaining” in the negotiating process.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other senior officials have not publicly stated whether they will bring up the principle of self-determination of peoples, long championed by Armenia, in planned negotiations on a comprehensive peace treaty with Azerbaijan. They have said only that the talks should address the questions of Karabakh’s status and the security of its population.
Speaking in the Armenian parliament on April 13, Pashinyan said that the international community is pressing Armenia to “lower a bit the bar on the question of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status” and recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. He hinted at his readiness to make such concessions, drawing strong criticism from his political opponents and Karabakh’s leadership.