STEPANAKERT (Azatutyun) — Armenia’s government and parliament sent official delegations to Stepanakert on Friday, September 2, for official ceremonies to mark the 31st anniversary of the establishment of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
The ceremonies were attended instead by separate delegations of the three political groups represented in the National Assembly. The ruling Civil Contract party’s delegation consisted of only two parliamentarians.
“We are in Stepanakert as members of Armenia’s National Assembly,” said one of those lawmakers, Rustam Bakoyan. “This was the decision made by the [ruling party’s] parliamentary group.”
Bakoyan would not say why the parliament’s leadership, also affiliated with Civil Contract, did not send an official delegation to Stepanakert as it did last year. The parliament’s press office and leaders of its pro-government majority could not be reached for comment.
In a written statement, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan congratulated the Karabakh Armenians on the anniversary of the proclamation of their republic not recognized by any country. Pashinyan reiterated the official Armenian line that the Karabakh conflict will remain unresolved until the issues of the disputed territory’s status and security are “addressed irrevocably.”
Statements to the contrary are “inappropriate,” he said, alluding to Azerbaijani leaders’ regular claims that Azerbaijan essentially ended the conflict with its victory in the 2020 war with Armenia.