You are currently viewing STATEMENT – Europeans for Artsakh platform urges EU Leadership to support the right of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh Armenians to live collectively
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4 April 2024 – Prior to the joint meeting of the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, scheduled on 5 April in Brussels, the Europeans for Artsakh platform has addressed a LETTER to the EU leadership, emphasizing the dire need of housing of the forcibly displaced indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh.

The letter reads as follows:

“As EU citizens, we are appealing to the EU to earmark financial means to enable dignified housing in the Republic of Armenia for the forcibly displaced indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh, until international protection mechanisms are put in place so that they can collectively return to their homeland, namely Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh.” 

Drawing parallels with the international projects, following the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, the Europeans for Artsakh platform suggests that similar initiatives could provide a mid-term solution to prevent the annihilation of a millennia-old culture.

The Europeans for Artsakh platform underlines EU’s role as a principal mediator of the negotiations on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, headed by President Charles Michel, since 2021. The letter states that while the EU leadership continuously acknowledged the necessity of protecting the human rights of the indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh, they often stressed the importance of the “integration” of the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh in Azerbaijan and advocated for it, also when Azerbaijan imposed a blockade, starvation and carried our military aggression. The platform makes a reference to the European Parliament (EP) resolution of 5 October 2023 which expresses “deep dissatisfaction at the fact that regular alerts by the EP regarding the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the risks of a catastrophic outcome have been disregarded by the Commission and the Council. 

The letter emphasizes that impunity emboldened Azerbaijan’s destructive policies and sums up “whereas the inaction of the Russian peacekeepers allowed Azerbaijan to carry out its heinous agenda, the EU also bears its share of responsibility for the reasons elaborated above. This does not refer to the European Parliament which honored its role as the House of democracy and continuously took an objective stance on the situation”.

In the aftermath of the ethnic cleansing, tens of thousands of forcibly displaced Armenians have sought refuge in the Republic of Armenia. While the Armenian Government has made efforts to address their short-term needs, these are insufficient to provide a dignified life for them.  The Europeans for Artsakh platform acknowledges with gratitude EU’s allocation of humanitarian aid to support the indigenous Armenians forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh. Nevertheless, humanitarian aid only addresses short-term needs. As a matter of fact, already several thousand Armenians from Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh have already left the Republic of Armenia and have not returned. This is a real disaster. If the situation continues, with the time the unique culture, dialects of the millennia-old indigenous Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh will disappear. 

The appeal  of the European for Artsakh is addressed to the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi,  High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar and EP President Roberta Metsola. The letter will also be addressed to the governments of the EU member states, namely to the governments of the countries where the Europeans for Artsakh platform has a representative body.

Background: Since September 2020, Azerbaijan’s destructive policy towards Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh has resulted in the forced displacement of 150,000 indigenous Armenian people from their ancestral homeland. Employing “methods” such as full-scale war, blockade, starvation, and psychological terror, Azerbaijan has perpetrated ethnic cleansing against the Armenian population, prompting widespread condemnation, including from the European Parliament. 

The “Europeans for Artsakh” is a pan-European collaborative platform/movement bringing together representative bodies of the Armenian community in 15 European countries. The first initiative of the ‘Europeans for Artsakh’ was a letter addressed to the leadership of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as to the leaders of the Member states of the Council of Europe in support of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh, which was co-signed by over 500 European associations.

The mission of the platform is to mobilize citizens, fostering support for the fundamental rights of the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh while raising awareness on this issue across political, social, and cultural spheres in Europe.

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