Armenia’s parliament is set to consider a bill on recognizing the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state. Just about everyone in Yerevan supports the bill’s intent, but few MPs are willing to vote for the measure at this time.
The bill, sponsored by the opposition Heritage Party, is expected to come up for a vote during parliament’s October 25-29 session. First submitted in 2007, the bill is intended to define Armenia’s “rights and responsibilities in strengthening” the disputed region’s security, as well as determine “the national interests and the state policy of Armenia, and Armenia’s participation in post-conflict rehabilitation activities.”
In an October 5 speech to parliament, Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian called on MPs to make the bill a “national project,” calling for a national debate on whether now is the “right moment both in terms of the content and the timing” to recognize Karabakh’s independence from Azerbaijan.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan.