January 19
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Pope Francis' visit to Armenia is a serious event both in spiritual and geopolitical terms, spokesperson for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) Eduard Shamrazanov, who is also the Vice President of the Armenian National Assembly (NA), told journalists after the RPA Executive Body meeting Thursday.

''Pope Francis is arriving in Armenia tomorrow. This is a serious event for the entire Christian world. It is a call of unity to all the Christian people,'' Sharmazanov stressed.

He also noted that in the subsequent RPA Executive Body meeting, Serzh Sargsyan presented the results of his visit to St. Petersburg, the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the trilateral meeting.  

''This was a meeting which was aimed at continuing the Vienna arrangements. The position of the Republic of Armenian on Nagorno-Karabakh remains unchanged: we are exclusively for the peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of the three fundamental principles, which should be based on the Karabakh people's free expression of will,'' Sharmazanov noted.

In his words, the President also presented the results of his visit to Karabakh.  ''The situation there is also under control, peace being maintained. As a guarantor of Artsakh's security, the Armenian President once again visited [the country] to see the situation at the frontline,'' the spokesperson said.

He also referred to the announcement of the Deputy Head of Azerbaijan's presidential administration Novruz Mammadov, stressing that his statement was the result of his ill imagination. ''Not only official Yerevan, but today also official Moscow very harshly responded to Novruz Mammadov's statement, stating that the Azerbaijani authorities are telling a lie.''

Earlier, the Deputy Head of Azerbaijani President's Administration Novruz Mammadov stated that the stage-by-stage settlement of the conflict consists of returning first five and then two occupied regions, this being followed also by the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

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