Armenian gov't is under pressure of opposition urging it to protect Karabakh's interests: director of Armenian Int'l Studies Centre

Armenian gov't is under pressure of opposition urging it to protect Karabakh's interests: director of Armenian Int'l Studies Centre

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 16 / Trend , E.Tariverdiyeva/  

The Armenian government is under a permanent pressure of the opposition urging it to protect national interests and security of both Armenia and Karabakh, Armenian Political Scientist Richard Giragosian believes.

"While the Karabakh issue has always been a significant national issue for Armenians worldwide, there is also a new domestic political context, as the current Armenian government is under new pressure to ensure and protect the national interest and security of both Armenia and Karabakh," the Director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS), Giragosian wrote to Trend an email.

On 15 July the Union of Armenian nationalists demanded from the government to resign or refuse from the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, since the basic principles of the Karabakh problem, formulated in the Madrid document, dated Nov. 29, 2007, contradict the interests of Armenia, Kommersant reported.

The nationalists were supported by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaksutyun, which plans to hold the rallies of opposition in Armenia and other countries, as well as demands resignation of Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

The opposition has become more active in anticipation of Serzh Sargsyan's meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to be held at the informal CIS summit in Moscow on July 18. In doing so, Russian President's Aide Sergey Prikhodko said it was not planned to sign any documents at that meeting.

Clearly, the recent increase in diplomatic and political activity over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has brought new pressure on all sides, including Azerbaijan as well as Armenia, Giragosian believes.

"But for Armenia, there is an added pressure from the Armenian Diaspora, which is now very concerned over any approaching agreement with Azerbaijan," he said.

The main purpose of the Armenian lobby, whose backbone is the Armenian Diaspora in the United States is the international recognition of "Armenian genocide" in 1915, self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh, and observation of the rights of the Armenian community in Georgia.

The upcoming meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents will also pose a test for the Armenian leadership, as Armenians throughout the world will be closely watching and carefully listening to every gesture and each word during that meeting, Giragosian believes.

"At the same time, the current Armenian government remains under constant attack by the country's opposition, thereby raising the stakes and increasing expectations, as well as exacerbating the pressure already being exerted on Yerevan," he said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

E.Ostapenko contributed to this article.

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