Opposition holds rally, outlines demands

The opposition factions of the National Assembly convened a rally at the Freedom Square under the slogan “For the sake of Artsakh, let’s save Armenia.”

Second President Serzh Sargsyan participates in the rally, but did not make a speech.

Speaking to reporters before the start of the rally, Sargsyan said he does not believe any document will be signed during tomorrow’s meeting between Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev in Brussels.

Addressing accusations that the previous authorities did manage to solve the issue over 30 years, he said: “It’s not easy to solve such conflicts even during 30, 40 or 50 years. We have approached that solution as much as we could. I have never negotiated about what we can hand over. I have negotiated on what we can get. And because of that, yes, we were somewhat willing to compromise.”

“Our struggle is for the future of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. Our struggle is for every Armenian living in any corner of the world,” said MP Tigran Abrahamyan. “Artsakh will never be part of Azerbaijan,” he added.  

“This meeting is about avoiding fatal decision,” MP Aram Vardevanyan said addressing the public.

Noting that April is a month to commemorate the anniversary of the 4-day April war and the Armenian genocide, Vardevanyan said April should also become a month of “imposing real peace.”

Anna Mkrtchyan presented a final resolution-statement outlining the “basic principles of pan-Armenian agenda and the red lines.”  

She said “the independence, security and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh are fundamental values, and there can be no retreat from those.”

The final statement says “to prepare prerequisites for the peace agenda, Azerbaijan should return all Armenian prisoners of war and other detainees, withdraw forces from both the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.”

Furthermore, she stressed that “it’s necessary to establish that the Republic of Armenia is the guarantor of security of the people of Artsakh and the realization of its right to self-determination.”

She further stated the need to exclude any status of Artsakh within Azerbaijan, as well as an enclave status without a reliable land communication with Armenia” and to take steps to resume the negotiation process in line with the 1994 OSCE summit.

The statement also demands to exclude the signing of any interstate agreement or start any delimitation and demarcation process as long as Azerbaijan continues to use force or threat of force.

When it comes to Armenia-Turkey relations, the opposition calls to avoid any agreement that would question the fact of the Armenian Genocide and the right to be bearer of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage.

After the rally the protesters marched to France Square. They pledged to continue the protests.

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