May 18
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Artur Vanetsyan, leader of the opposition "With Honor" Faction in the National Assembly (NA) of Armenia and chairman of the opposition Homeland party, told reporters in the NA Monday why he had initially agreed to go on a business trip to the United States together with the representatives of the Armenian authorities.

"Everything about the cancellation of the planned visit to the US is stated in the disseminated statement; at the moment and in general there is nothing [else] to say," he added.

When asked why he had initially decided to travel with the Armenian authorities, Vanetsyan responded: "I am not traveling with the authorities. I am an NA MP who has powers, obligations, and accountability before his electorate. I believe the voice of the opposition’s voters should be made audible on international platforms."

Vanetsyan noted that he supports the decision by the fellow lawmakers of the opposition "Armenia" Faction of the NA to boycott working in international organizations until the restrictions are lifted against some opposition Armenian MPs.

"But we [the ‘With Honor’ Faction] have our position. I believe we should use any opportunity to present the actions of these authorities, which directly damage democracy, the country's external standing," Vanetsyan added.

He noted that today people ask why international organizations used to actively react to the processes and issues in Armenia—but not now.

"The opposition must raise the issues. We must not refuse to fulfill our obligations and powers on international platforms," Vanetsyan said.

"When the representatives of the [Armenian] authorities are on their own, they present only their point of view; that is, no other point of view is presented from our country in international organizations. That gives them the right to act freely. Then we wonder why we do not have reactions from international organizations about the situation in Armenia, why our international partners are not informed about the issues raised by the opposition inside Armenia," added the leader of the "With Honor" Faction in parliament.

Earlier it was reported that Artur Vanetsyan had canceled his working visit to the United States as a member of the Armenian National Assembly delegation.

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