01/29/2024, 09.20
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The new Armenian constitution and tensions with Azerbaijan

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Baku continues to demand from Yerevan the "rejection of revanchism" over Nagorno Karabakh citing the preamble of the charter. But Armenians speak of a pretext to push away a peace agreement that Aliev now does not need. While an Azerbaijani TV channel also claims the ancient Armenian church of Aričavank in the Širakh region as 'national property'.

Yerevan (AsiaNews) - As stated by the well-known Armenian political scientist Sergej Melkonyan, in an interview with Kommersant, the idea of a new constitution in Armenia, put forward in recent days by Prime Minister Nikol Pašinyan, depends on pressure from Azerbaijan, which insists for "the rejection of revanchism" by the Armenians.

In fact, Azeris see an insurmountable obstacle in Armenia's Declaration of Independence, whose preamble referred to in the constitution speaks of the "reunion between Armenia and Artsakh".

According to Melkonyan, the Yerevan leadership would be willing to make concessions on this point, and the example would be the modification to the fundamental law, which Pašinyan presents as necessary to "build a new democratic country".

In reality, there would be no such obvious reasons to change the text, if not for the concerns of Baku, which wants to eliminate any basis for reopening the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh.

The problem, according to the political scientist and many other observers, is that the peace agreement between the two Caucasian countries is decidedly not very credible, there still remains strong tension, which will hardly be calmed by the signing of some paper.

As Melkonyan states, "Aliev doesn't need the agreement, he has already obtained everything he wanted, Karabakh, the corridor and the communication routes, Baku now has full control".

The Azerbaijanis' strong position is also confirmed in recent days by an episode denounced by Armenia's former human rights guarantor, Arman Tatoyan, who accused Azerbaijan of wanting to take over another monument of Armenian culture.

The ancient Armenian church of Aričavank in the Širakh region, dating back to the 5th century, was presented by a Baku TV channel as a “Turkish-Christian” monastery owned by Azerbaijan, which in reality “did not exist at that time, much less can he claim rights over churches and monasteries”.

According to Baku's version, that area of Armenia is to be considered part of the so-called "Western Azerbaijan", into which various areas of other peoples are included, from Armenians to Turks and Persians.

According to Tatoyan "the real purpose of these statements is the total occupation of Armenia, within the not only anti-Armenian but also anti-Christian policy of Azerbaijan". Under these conditions, all declarations on the peace agreements appear to be merely elements of control over the general situation in the region.

The Aričavank monastic complex was built from the 7th century to the 13th century, and is considered a jewel of medieval Armenian architecture, with a great wealth of decorations and bas-reliefs. The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues at various levels, including that of appropriation of cultural heritage.

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