12 May 2023, Brussels – Prior to the meeting with the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on 14 May, 2023 the EAFJD as a pan-European grassroots organization calls on the President of the European Council Charles Michel to mediate for peace by prioritizing the fundamental rights of the native Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh and by ensuring that Azerbaijan’s aggressive, maximalist stance towards Armenia finds appropriate resistance.
The EAFJD and its committees across Europe welcome the mediation efforts by the President of the European Council. Nevertheless, we emphasize that negotiations can only be effective when both sides are genuinely committed to the peace process. Azerbaijan continues its military provocations against Armenia, which are destructive and seriously undermine the foundation of any negotiations – namely trust. In the meanwhile, Azerbaijan continues to block the lifeline of the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh and terrorize them for more than 4 months now. Moreover, by gravely violating the ceasefire statement of the 9 November Azerbaijan installed a checkpoint on the Hakari bridge – another step towards realizing its policy of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh.
Since 11 May the Azerbaijani Armed Forces opened fire towards Sotk in Gegharkunik Province of the Republic of Armenia, with artillery and UAV strikes, injuring at least 6 Armenian servicemen. The EU Monitoring Capacity in Armenia has been operational since 20 October and must have been able to monitor and report the situation, in order to contribute to the stabilization and security of the region. Nonetheless, Azerbaijan continues spreading misinformation. Unfortunately to this moment the EU has not clearly addressed the situation and named the aggressor by its name.
We herewith call on President Michel to base the mediation on the following facts and aspects:
Negotiations can only succeed in peaceful circumstances, which require the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all Azerbaijani troops from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia;
Azerbaijan must immediately stop violating the November 9 ceasefire statement and remove the checkpoint on the Hakari-bridge, unblock the Lachin Corridor, secure the free and safe movement of people and goods to and from Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh;
The settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict must be based on 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 Nagorno-Karabakh/ Artsakh inevitably means the ethnic cleansing of the native Armenian population. Hence the status of Nagorno-Karabakh/ Artsakh must reflect the democratic expression of will of its native Armenian population and ensure sustainable peace and security, as well as guarantee the right of the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh to live in safety and dignity in their own homeland;
The Republic of Armenia is the security guarantor of Nagorno-Karabakh/ Artsakh Armenians, thus the framework of future negotiation must comprise an active participation of the Republic of Armenia and have an international format.
The EAFJD also expects from the Armenian Government to insist on all the above-mentioned aspects during the negotiations.