The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) welcomes the initiative of sixteen Members of the European Parliament (MEP), led by Danish MEP Anders Primdahl Vistisen (ECR), to address a written question to the European Commission and the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, asking why the EU Special Representatives for the South Caucasus and Georgia (EUSR) and other EU officials have never visited Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh, despite having the legal basis to do so.
The MEPs are also asking how the Vice President of the Commission and the EU High Representative has taken the voice of the people of Nagorno Karabakh into consideration, since this is essential in the peace process.
Although there is no relevant basis in international law, Azerbaijan has created a so-called “blacklist”, which it has been using to blackmail in particular Western politicians and public figures so as to prevent them from visiting Nagorno Karabakh. In its policy of total isolation of the people of Nagorno Karabakh, the Azerbaijani Government has been using all possible means, trying to hinder any involvement of international organizations in Nagorno Karabakh, especially on the level democracy-building, education and economic development.
“Of course, the OSCE Minsk group is the official international mediator accepted by the conflict parties. Nevertheless, as a soft power the European Union can and should do more to contribute to the peace process in Nagorno Karabakh /Artsakh,” said EAFJD President Kaspar Karampetian.
Karampetian further elaborated: “It is encouraging that the European Union implements humanitarian and education programs in other conflict areas in the region, such as South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But we still have no explanation why the EU has failed to do so in Artsakh or listen to the people living there.”
“The fact that so many MEPs from all political groups in the European parliament have raised these questions, shows that EU lawmakers have become more aware of the ongoing social and economic isolation of the people of Artsakh and have started questioning the passive attitude of the EU. These questions are also important in order to understand the reasons why EU officials have avoided visiting Nagorno Karabakh, despite the fact that it is the best way to gain first-hand information,” concluded the EAFJD President.
The EAFJD will be following the response of the EU High Representative, which is due in about 6 weeks at the latest.
Here is the link to the written question: