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Armenian parliament turns down initiative to consider Karabakh recognition

May 16, 20:56 UTC+3 YEREVAN
The initiative won support of only 12 lawmakers
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YEREVAN, May 16. /TASS/. A bill on Armenia’s recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh was not included in the agenda of the current session of the Armenian parliament.

The initiative won support of only 12 lawmakers. Many parliament members representing both the ruling and opposition parties did not take part in the voting.

On May 5, the Armenian government submitted the bill to the parliament. In its note to the bill, the government said that recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh may depend on the "results of discussions between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh with due account of possible development of the situation, including the external factor. The parliament’s permanent commission on foreign relations gave a negative opinion of the bill on Monday.

The Armenian opposition regularly comes out with an initiative to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh but the government invariably turns down such initiatives say that such a step may hinder the negotiating process on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which is mediated by the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States.

The situation along the line of engagement of the conflicting parties in Nagorno-Karabakh deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2. Following fierce armed clashes at the contact line, the parties to the conflict accused each other of violating truce.

On April 5, Russia mediated a meeting between Colonel-General Nadzhmeddin Sadykov, the chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces General Staff, and Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov, the chief of the Armenian Armed Forces General Staff, that took place in Moscow. The sides agreed to cease the hostilities on the line disengaging the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. The defense ministries of Azerbaijan and Armenia announced a ceasefire on the contact line as of 12:00 (11:00 Moscow time) the same day. Ever since, the parties occasionally report brief exchanges of fire at the contact line.

The conflict between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians, broke out in the late 1980s.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

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