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 Thursday, May 26 2022 17:35
Marianna Mkrtchyan

EAFJD critical of European Council`s mediation between Armenia,  Azerbaijan 

EAFJD critical of European Council`s mediation between Armenia,  Azerbaijan 

ArmInfo.As a pan-European civil society grassroots organization the EAFJD and its committees, representing a significant part of the European citizens of Armenian  origin, express their profound discontent with the recent statement  of the President of the European Council Charles Michel following the  trilateral meeting with the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan  and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on 22 May, 2022, reads a  statement by the Hay Dat Europe office.  

Mediating for peace is necessary and welcome. Nevertheless, it is  essential to ensure that peace is negotiated based on justice and not  by cornering the side that has been a victim of vicious aggression of  the tandem of two authoritarian regimes, such as Azerbaijan and  Turkey which i.a. deployed jihadist fighters against the native  Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh. It is unacceptable for an EU  leader to mediate for peace by sacrificing the fundamental rights and  needs of the oppressed side.

Unfortunately, the recent statement of president Michel disregards  key principles of EU's documented approach towards the resolution of  the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and overall endorses the Azerbaijani  stance on the conflict resolution in some crucial aspects.

Deviating from the EU's decade-long approach as well as that of all  the relevant international documents, Charles Michel uses the vague  wording "Karabakh" instead of "Nagorno Karabakh" which is a political  entity with a defined territory. Thus, the President of the European  Council repeats the narrative of the Azerbaijani President,  insinuating that Nagorno Karabakh as an entity does not exist and is  genocidal in its essence. 

In March 2022, the European Parliament adopted a resolution by  overwhelming majority on the ongoing destruction of the Armenian  religious and cultural heritage in Nagorno Karabakh, acknowledging  that "the erasure of the Armenian cultural heritage is part of a  wider pattern of a systematic, state-level policy of Armenophobia,  historical revisionism and hatred towards Armenians promoted by the  Azerbaijani authorities". Using the term Karabakh is clearly a part  of the ongoing Azerbaijani policy of ethnic cleansing against the  indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh and is genocidal  in its essence.

We herewith remind Mr. Charles Michel that in his capacity as the  President of the European Council he should base the mediation on the  following facts and aspects:   

The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the EU  and Armenia (CEPA), which entered into force in March 2021,  "recognizes the need to achieve that settlement of the Nagorno  Karabakh conflict on the basis of the purposes and principles  enshrined in the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act,  including the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, as one  of the three Basic principles."

Any direct control of Baku over the Nagorno Karabakh inevitably means  ethnic cleansing of its millennia- old native Armenian population.  Hence the question of the status of Nagorno Karabakh which must  reflects the democratic expression of will of the Armenian population  of Nagorno Karabakh is primordial in ensuring the long-term,  sustainable security of the population and guarantee their right to  live in their homeland. 

Unblocking transportation/communication links must be carried out in  full respect of sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia. Any potential  risk of creating a new ground for conflict must be excluded.

Border delimitation and demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan  cannot be a consequence of the use of force and must not be carried  out hastily without taking into consideration all the details of its  consequences.

Azerbaijan must immediately stop its state policy of Armenophobia in  all its manifestations

Following inter alia by the European Parliament as well as that of a  number of parliaments of the EU Member states, Azerbaijan must  immediately and unconditionally release all the Armenian prisoners of  war and captives.

The EAFJD also expects from the Armenian Government to insist on all  the above-mentioned aspects during the negotiations.

European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy

According to the statement by President of the European Council   Charles Michel following his meeting with the Armenian and   Azerbaijani leaders, "the leaders agreed on the need to proceed with   unblocking the transport links. They agreed on the principles   governing transit between western Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, and   between different parts of Armenia via Azerbaijan, as well as   international transport through communications infrastructure of both   countries. Notably they agreed on principles of border  administration, security, land fees but also customs in the context   of international transport. The Deputy Prime Ministers will take this   work forward in the coming days."

The statement does not contain a single word about Nagorno-Karabakh's   status. In his statement, Mr Michel used the term "Karabakh" instead   of "Nagorno-Karabakh". The statement does not mention either the   trilateral agreements between the Armenian, Azerbaijan and Russian   leaders or other settlement principles. 

Moreover, after Mr Michel issued his statement, Google maps showed   the Armenian settlements and government agencies in Nagorno-Karabakh   under Azerbaijani names.  

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