27 Apr 2018 16:35

Armenia's ruling party says talks with opposition can't be aired live for security reasons

YEREVAN. April 27 (Interfax) - It is impossible to air negotiations between the Armenian government and the opposition live because they may touch on security and external threats, the Armenian parliament deputy speaker and press secretary of the ruling Republican Party, Eduard Sharmazanov, said in a program broadcast by the Armenian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

"Negotiations broadcast live are the most inefficient way to solve problems. Can you imagine a conversation followed by the entire world, Erdogan and Aliyev [the presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan]?" Sharmazanov said.

"Do you think this is normal? I cannot imagine how this can happen and how security issues and threats to Armenia can be discussed on a live program. I confirm that we are open to constructive negotiations without any preconditions," Sharmazanov said.

Negotiations between the leader of the Armenian protests, MP Nikol Pashinyan, and acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan were planned for Friday, but they did not take place.

Karapetyan's press secretary, Aram Araratyan, said that negotiations in which one side dictates the agenda while the other is unable to propose an agenda of its own cannot be called true negotiations.

The goal of negotiations held before the media is not the accomplishment of real results, he said.

Thus, the acting prime minister saw no reason to attend the meeting, Araratyan said.