President of Artsakh’s parliament sends letter to President of OSCE PA and Bureau Members

President of the National Assembly of Artsakh Ashot Ghoulyan sent a letter to President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly George Tsereteli and the Bureau Members, responding to the call for global ceasefire and the announcements over the national elections in Artsakh. As ARMENPRESS was informed from the press service of Artsakh’s parliament, the letter runs as follows, 

“Your Excellency,


Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the National Assembly (Parliament) of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh Republic), I would like to welcome the recent endorsement by the leadership of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly of the UN Secretary General’s appeal for a global cease-fire. The OSCE PA President’s appeal to “all parties to heed the UN call for a cease-fire” is also commendable. This has been an important, necessary and timely initiative and its implementation, in good faith, would be an important contribution to the collective efforts of the international community in overcoming this global challenge that threatens all of humankind.

We believe that in this critical period of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to get rid of old stereotypes and dividing lines, which are a legacy of the past. Only through joint efforts and based on the principle of inclusivity, without any distinction, can we withstand this global challenge caused by the pandemic.

The Republic of Artsakh has promptly reacted to the UN Secretary General’s call and on 24 March reaffirmed its obligation to rigorously comply with the cease-fire regime in the zone of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict. We are convinced that at these crucial times, any move in pursuit of exploiting the situation caused by the pandemic to serve one’s own political agenda, is fraught with ramifications extremely dangerous for the entire international community and demands strongest condemnation.

We share the view that the COVID-19 crisis should not be exploited to curtail human rights, including the right to vote and to form government through democratic elections. In this context, remarks of the OSCE PA Bureau members on the recent elections in Artsakh are deeply disappointing. Moreover, these remarks differ fundamentally from the position and assessment of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, who in their Press Statement of 31 March 2020 “recognized the role of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh in deciding their future”. Such remarks also contradict the numerous statements of the leadership of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly on their full support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to find a peaceful solution to the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict.


All Members of Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly


Elections are not something new in Artsakh and have been an inseparable part of the political life of the republic since independence in 1991. Even, the 1992 Helsinki decision of the first Additional Meeting of the CSCE/OSCE Council makes clear references to the elected representatives of Nagorno Karabakh as a party to negotiations. International mediators as well as Baku maintained direct contacts with the authorities of Artsakh formed through elections. It should be recalled that the Bishkek Protocol that paved the way to the establishment of the cease-fire in May 1994 was signed by the elected representatives of all three parties, heads of parliaments of Artsakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that the national elections in the Republic of Artsakh were held in a competitive and free environment, in line with international standards. All necessary precautions had been taken to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus during the elections. As a result, the elections proceeded in a competitive and free atmosphere, with the active participation of voters. According to the Central Electoral Commission, five political parties were elected to the National Assembly. Since none of the presidential candidates received the required number of votes, a second round of presidential elections has been scheduled, which is taking place today, 14 April.

It should also be noted that since independence in 1991, a number of elections and referenda were held in Artsakh in extremely difficult conditions, including under shelling and bombing by the Azerbaijani side.

In closing, let me assure you that as in those days, today, the people and authorities of Artsakh remain faithful to the chosen path of building a free, independent and democratic state and are ready to overcome any obstacles and challenges along this path”.

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