The Hague, 13 April 2016 – The flare-up between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh was discussed today in a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Dutch Parliament with Foreign Minister Mr. Koenders in the preparation of the European Council meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers on 18 April.
The MPs of different factions all expressed their concern on the conflict, for the solution of which the OSCE Minsk Group for so many years has been negotiating without result. They asked about the possible cause of the outburst of violence and the role of neighbouring countries, especially Russia and Turkey, and the situation of the new ceasefire.
Mr. Harry van Bommel of Socialist Party, indicating that the upsurge in violence is mainly attributed to Azerbaijan, pointed at the lack of independent mechanisms to monitor the existing ceasefire that was agreed 22 years ago. This has not contributed towards a solution of the conflict for years. Furthermore the MP asked the Minister about Azerbaijani drone attack, inter alia, reported by Washington Post, which would have caused several victims.
The Minister, who spoke of an extremely worrisome development, could not confirm the latter, because of the fact that independent military supervising mechanisms are still lacking. Therefore there is no good view on the cause of the renewed fighting and compliance with the ceasefire. The OSCE investigates these matters. For the time being he did not assume a determinating role of the neighbouring countries in the violent outbreak, although Turkey has explicitly expressed its support for Azerbaijan and Russia, while playing a positive role in calling both parties to stay calm, is known for its sympathy for the other party. Mr. Koenders believes that the long absence of a solution has caused a lot of frustration.
While the MP’s consider OSCE Minsk Group as the first responsible for negotiations with the parties for solutions, there certainly is a supportive role for the EU in the process. The Minister, who will chair the Council’s Meeting in connection with EU Presidency of the Netherlands, will be first of all focused, according to the wishes of the Parliament, on reaching agreement regarding independent military observation.
As previously reported (press release dated 5 April 2016) the Joint Armenian Organisations (Federation of Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands , Hay Tad and other organisations) submitted a petition on Nagorno-Karabakh to the Chairwoman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Parliament, Mrs. A.M.C. Eijsink. The Joint Armenian Organisations also held a rally against Azerbaijani aggression against Nagorno Karabach at the Dam Square in Amsterdam on 8 April 2016 with a few hundred participants from around Holland.
Federation of Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands (FAON)