Azerbaijani government continues its policy of Armenophobia: Speech by RA NA Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan at Euronest PA 9th Session
I am pleased to address the 9th Ordinary Session of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. From the very beginning of its establishment, the Euronest has been playing, and I hope will continue to play a uniting role between the European Union and Eastern Partner countries, thus contributing to the promotion of the values that constitute the cornerstones of the Eastern Partnership.
I firmly believe that we shall continue to foster our common goals respecting and fairly evaluating vital interests and priorities of each member state of the Assembly.
I would like to underscore the importance of Armenia’s cooperation with the European Union, in particular, within the framework of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union, which fully entered into force on March 1, 2021. The Agreement elevates the bilateral relations between Armenia and the European Union to a new, higher level. It is an inclusive document, which creates a solid legal basis for the partnership between the two sides, outlines the framework of cooperation in various areas, ranging from justice, security, economy, agriculture, and infrastructure to the environment and climate, education, science, culture, and health.
We are confident, that the effective implementation of the CEPA will bring tangible results for our citizens through the promotion of democracy, enhancement of the political, economic and social stability via extensive reforms, which will considerably improve the quality of life of our citizens.
In this regard, the Parliament of Armenia will bring its crucial contribution not only by supporting the executive bodies in implementing the Agreement, but also by playing its oversight role. We have already launched a Twinning project together with Greek and Italian Parliaments in order to build institutional capacity for proper oversight of CEPA agenda.
I would to take the opportunity and highlight the principles enshrined in CEPA, which reaffirms EU's commitments to support the efforts and approaches of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, based on the principles of non-use of force, equal rights and people’s right to self-determination.
Nevertheless, just six months ago we witnessed a brutal violation of the principle of non-use of force by Azerbaijan: on 27 September 2020 Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale military offensive against Artsakh and ultimately Armenia. Despite many facts proving that Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh, directly supported by Turkey and the latter's affiliated foreign terrorist fighters had a pre-planned manner, Azerbaijan still cynically blames Armenia in provoking the war, where they demonstrated unprecedented violence and committed massive war crimes.The 44-day aggressive war resulted in huge human losses and immeasurable material damage. Taking the chance, I would like to thank all the MEPs, who stood on the side of truth condemning actions of Azerbaijani side.
Consistent and deliberate violations of the November 9 Trilateral Statement by Azerbaijan continue to seriously undermine a full implementation of the Statement and poses new challenges for regional peace and security.
The obligation to release and repatriate the prisoners of war, as well as of the hostages and other detainees, is unequivocally stipulated in the November 9 Statement. However, the Azerbaijani side continues to disregard its own commitments under various pretexts. It was also stated by distinguished members of EP Marina Kaljurand, Andrey Kovatchev and Željana Zovko that Azerbaijani government has failed to comply with the interim measures of the European Court of Human Rights which ordered Azerbaijan to provide information on the conditions of detention of the detainees, their state of health, as well as the measures taken to return them. I want to make it clear for our European partners that such actions of Azerbaijan create serious risks for opening the regional infrastructures and creating stability in the South Caucasus.
Moreover, Azerbaijani government continues its policy of Armenophobia, which they have been feeding their citizens for decades. Just a few days ago Azerbaijan has demonstrated another despicable example of hatred in the so-called Park of Military Trophies by displaying helmets of the Armenian soldiers killed during the war.
Xenophobic and hateful behaviour like this clearly demonstrates that Azerbaijan is trying to resolve the contentious issues through the barbaric and uncivilized means.
We urge our colleagues to condemn Azerbaijan’s unlawful and reprehensible actions. The return of the prisoners of war and other detained persons has to be completed as soon as possible - without any preconditions and artificially created obstacles.
To sum up, I want to state that Nagorno Karabakh conflict isn’t still solved, as the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination is not realized. We are confident to continue the negotiations of the peaceful settlement of the conflict under the auspices of Minsk group Co-Chairmanship and call all our international partners to support the works of this format.
Coming back to Armenian domestic affairs I would like to inform that political parties represented in the Parliament came to agreement to hold snap parliamentary elections on June 20. We have necessary political will to organize free and fair elections, as it was in 2018, where all the citizens of Armenia can demonstrate their will and form democratically elected government, which is the only legitimate way of power. I hope, that European Parliament together with other international partners will be present to conduct both long-term and short-term observation of elections. Despite all the difficulties caused by the COVID 19 and the war democratic changes in Armenia are irreversible.
Thank you for your attention.