Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday reaffirmed plans to formally recognize Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) as part of Azerbaijan despite vehement objections from Karabakh’s leadership and the Armenian opposition.
Pashinyan insisted that signing a relevant Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty is vital for Armenia’s own security and territorial integrity.
“Do we all realize that we have been living in our beloved homeland for 35 years without a land ownership certificate?” he claimed during his government’s question-and-answer session in the parliament. “Throughout its millennia-long existence Armenia has never had an ownership certificate.”
“If we manage to do what we want to do, then for the first time in our history we will get an ownership certificate and will be not only a de facto but also a de jure owner [of modern-day Armenian territory] … We want to have a land title called a state with internationally recognized delimited and demarcated borders,” he said.
Pashinyan publicly confirmed on Monday that the peace deal currently discussed by Baku and Yerevan would uphold Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh. The statement drew strong condemnation from Armenian opposition leaders.
One of them, Armen Ashotian, was quick to decry the premier’s latest claims meant to justify his stance on the conflict with Azerbaijan.
“Never mind that international bodies and countries of the world had recognized Armenia’s territorial integrity … It’s the ‘ownership certificate’ signed by [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev that counts,” he wrote sarcastically on Facebook.
A “death certificate for Armenia” is what Pashinyan has been striving for, charged Ashotian.
Karabakh’s parliament expressed outrage at Pashinyan’s plans in a statement unanimously adopted on Monday night. It said that any document ignoring the Karabakh Armenians’ self-determination would be “null and void” for Stepanakert.
The Armenian Apostolic Church added its voice to the uproar on Tuesday. It Supreme Spiritual Council said that restoration of Azerbaijani control over Karabakh “would inevitably leave our brothers and sisters in Artsakh facing a new genocide.”