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April 15
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In order to always keep the subject of Artsakh “hot,” we must have a powerful Armenia and a powerful diaspora; today that trinity is very important. Artur Tovmasyan, the former speaker of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) National Assembly (NA), on Tuesday told this to reporters outside the Artsakh representative office in Armenia.

"There are various topics, we have the right of return, the right to preserve cultural heritage, the right to lost property. There are issues that are not political, and they should be voiced. Who should voice [them]?

I once said that we cannot dissolve the Artsakh NA, we cannot self-dissolve, no one has the right to dissolve Artsakh, the Artsakh NA [currently in exile] will function until May 21, 2025. Although we will not pass laws, there will be decisions, announcements.

We have two ways. One is the path of extreme patriotism, the other: taking current realities into account. I think that we should be guided by the current realities so as not to harm our compatriots of Armenia and Artsakh," said Tovmasyan.

Touching on the matter of Armenian captives in Azerbaijan, the former speaker of the Artsakh parliament said that the Armenia’s authorities tell them that they are dealing with the matter of Armenian captives in Azerbaijan—and not only in connection with the detained military and political leaders of Artsakh, but also with all the Armenian captives who are in Azerbaijani prisons.

"I have studied the criminal code, the civil code of Azerbaijan. They are very harsh articles, they are called ‘terrorists, separatists.’ But in these 30 years, the OSCE co-chairing countries have always been in [Artsakh capital] Stepanakert. Have they visited ‘terrorists, separatists?’ International observers from more than 100 countries have always been at all Artsakh elections. All of them have recorded that the elections took place in accordance with the principles of democracy and the electoral code of Artsakh, and it is a step ahead of previous years. They have recorded that we organize elections better than the countries of the region," Tovmasyan said.

As for the return of Artsakh Armenians to Artsakh, he said that international guarantees are needed for this, as there are security issues.

"The people of Artsakh cannot return [home] as citizens of Azerbaijan, it is impossible," added Artur Tovmasyan.

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