Arayik Harutyunyan – the president of the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) – has called for unity and dialogue after protests calling for his resignation. Speaking this evening (22 June) on the city’s Renaissance Square, the de facto NKR leader stated, “Today we must work in harmony, regardless of political processes. I am ready for a dialogue with everyone [...] History has shown what can happen in case of a split.”
Harutunyan’s address follows protests on the square after the self-styled president visited Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party’s offices on Sunday before congratulating him on his landslide win yesterday (21 June). In his address, Harutunyan argued that he had “maintained neutrality”, and that he had not only been to the offices of the Civil Contract party, but had also conducted post-election meetings with Gagik Tsarukyan, Hrant Bagratyan, Aram Sargsyan, Edmon Marukyan, Samvel Babayan and others. He called on all political forces to visit the NKR to discuss its political and economic issues.
He said it was foolish to think that he takes pleasure or takes any personal gains out of his position and is staying as he feels a responsibility to future generations.