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Armenian Opposition Party Sees No Chance Of Karabakh Accord

Giro Manoyan, a senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation party
YEREVAN -- A senior opposition party official says Armenia and Azerbaijan will fail to reach a framework agreement on the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the coming months despite peace efforts, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Giro Manoyan, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation's (Dashnaktsutyun) foreign policy spokesman, told journalists on August 1 that "I think that we will have no agreement before the end of the year."

Like the Armenian government's official stance on the issue, Manoyan blamed Baku for the deadlock in the negotiating process that followed the June 24 Armenian-Azerbaijani summit held in the Russian city of Kazan.

Contrary to the U.S., Russian, and French mediators' expectations, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev failed to finalize the basic principles of the conflict's resolution put forward by the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The mediators have since tried to salvage the peace process.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who hosted the Kazan meeting, has presented Sarkisian and Aliyev with a set of unpublicized proposals meant to break the impasse.

Manoyan suggested that the two presidents' responses to those proposals seem to have been "not positive." "If the responses of Armenia's and Azerbaijan's presidents had been positive, I think we would have felt that through the Russian side's reaction," he said. "But there has been no reaction from the Russian side."

Dashnaktsutyun, which was in Armenia's government from 1999 until April 2009, is opposed to key elements of the proposed framework peace deal.

Dashnaktsutyun leaders warned Sarkisian against signing up to the basic principles ahead of the Kazan summit.

Manoyan reaffirmed the nationalist party’s criticism of the Armenian government’s policy on Karabakh. He said that, unlike the Azerbaijani leadership, Sarkisian and other Armenian leaders have repeatedly expressed their readiness to make major concessions.

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