After meeting for nearly 2 hours Monday evening to discuss whether to continue to dialogue with the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), members of Armenia’s ruling coalition declared that they “don’t believe that it will be effective to resume dialogue with HAK while they are engaged in illegal activities,” referring to the nonstop rallies in Liberty Square which began on Friday and are set to last a week.
“We will wait till the end of this illegal gathering before discussing the details of our meetings with HAK representatives,” read the written statement issued by representatives of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s governing coalition.
Recall, HAK linked the resumption of this dialogue with an activist’s release until this month. Ter-Petrossian signaled his readiness to drop this precondition as his bloc set up a tent camp in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Friday in a bid to heighten pressure on the Sargsyan administration, RFE/RL’s Armenian service reports. He said the renewed dialogue could run parallel to the nonstop demonstrations.
Note, David Harutyunyan, head of the team assigned to dialogue with the opposition, and another delegation member Naira Zohrabyan were not present at yesterday’s meeting, as they are in Strasbourg, attending the PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) autumn session.