STATEMENT BY EAFJD
Brussels, 22 May – European Council president Charles Michel will host the Armenian and Azerbaijan leaders for the second time in less than two months, to move towards negotiating a comprehensive “peace treaty” between Armenia and Azerbaijan as the president Charles Michel has stated before.
In March 2022 Azerbaijani forces took control of the Armenian-populated Parukh village in the Askeran region of Nagorno Karabakh as a result of which all the Armenian residents had to flee. Because of the Azerbaijani provocations, the entire Armenian population of the neighboring village of Khramort also had to be evacuated.
In severe winter temperatures the entire native Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh was deprived of gas, causing a humanitarian crisis because the damaged pipeline passes through a territory under the control of the Azerbaijani authorities. The native Armenian population in Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh is being threatened in their native Armenian language with loudspeakers on the contact line. Moreover, the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in the occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh/ Artsakh is being destroyed and erased by Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is realizing an ethnic cleansing on the native Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh and has been pursuing a policy of Armenophobia on state-level for decades. Azerbaijani Armed Forces have illegally invaded Armenian sovereign territory since May 2021 without carrying consequences for violating international law.
Prior to the meeting, the EAFJD and its committees, representing the European citizens of Armenian origin as a part of the European civil society, express their concern and call on the President of the European Council and the EU executive body to consider and raise the following questions and concerns during the meeting:
- That the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on 10 March raising serious concerns about the danger of ethnic cleansing of the native Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh, while condemning the destruction of Armenian cultural and religious heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh;
- That the negotiations regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk group Co-chairs, with the consideration of the Basic principles, including the right of the native Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh/ Artsakh to self-determination;
- That any process of delimitation and demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot be imposed by the use of force, violation of human rights, at the expense of the national security of Armenia and predetermine the status of Nagorno-Karabakh fulfilling Azerbaijani claims;
- That Armenian POW’s and captives remain imprisoned despite multiple calls by different governments, transnational organizations and the adoption of the resolution by EP on the immediate and unconditional release of the Armenian POW’s;
- That a war unleashed by the authoritarian regime of Azerbaijan with the support of Turkey cannot lead to imposing any transport connection with a special status through the territory of the Republic of Armenia, at the expense of its national security and economic interests;
Taking the abovementioned into consideration Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh can never be a part of Azerbaijan.
The EU must use all its leverage to counter Azerbaijan’s maximalist stance and engage for sustainable, just peace in the region. The fundamental rights of the indigenous Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh/ Artsakh must be respected. Peace cannot be established by giving in to Azerbaijan’s ambitions of ethnic cleansing against Nagorno-Karabakh’s/ Artsakh’s native Armenian population.