Brussels, 7. October 2020 : The war imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey on the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh was on the agenda of the Plenary session of the European Parliament this morning. An exchange of views between the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and the EU High Representative/Vice President of the Commission took place.
The overwhelming majority of the MEPs from all the political groups clearly and strongly condemned Turkey’s role in the escalation of the conflict and its support for Azerbaijan. Out of more than 60 MEPs who elaborated on the situation, only five expressed their support for Azerbaijan. All these five MEPs have been known in the past for their close ties with Azerbaijan, including having vested interests. Numerous MEPs reminded of the unacceptability of Turkey’s destabilizing role in the region and deplored the fact that the Turkish authorities send jihadists from Syria and Lybia against the Armenians.
Criticism over Turkey’s denialism of the Armenian Genocide was another frequently raised point. Several MEPs strongly denounced the use of prohibited cluster munitions against the civilian population of Nagorno Karabakh by the Azerbaijani armed forces. The MEPs called on the EU HR Borrell to act and emphasized the absolute necessity of the EU to finally take action. Some MEPs mentioned the necessity of imposing sanctions against Turkey and Azerbaijan. The MEPs urged the sides to cease the hostilities and go back to the negotiation table without preconditions. In the closing remark the EU HR Borrell mentioned that he had spoken both to the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Azerbaijan, whereas Turkey continued expressing full support for Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan puts preconditions for starting the negotiations.
Commenting on the EP Plenary sessions, the EAFJD President Kaspar Karampetian said: “Since the EAFJD has been actively reaching out to the MEPs in the past 10 days, sensitizing them on the aggression, we could sense the indignation of the MEPs and we were expecting this outcome. Today the MEPs sent a clear signal both to the EU Council, i.e. the EU and to Erdogan, condemning Turkey’s destructive role in the conflict. Apart from a few exceptions, it is becoming more and more clear to the EU parliamentarians that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is not a territorial conflict and that Azerbaijan and Turkey are pursuing the same destructive agenda.” Karampetian further elaborated: “It is certainly important to condemn but the EU must do something tangible, namely impose sanctions both on Turkey and Azerbaijan. The EU decision-makers must realize that the issue of the status of Nagorno Karabakh is about nothing less than the existence of the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh in their historic homeland. The people of Artsakh have already expressed their democratic will by declaring independence. The EU must respect this and recognize it. The EAFJD and its committees across the Europe will continue to actively work towards this.”
While the EP Plenary session was taking place, thousands of Armenians and supporters from Belgium and neighboring countries were demonstrating in Brussels, in front of the building of the EU institutions: EEAS, Council and Commission European commission building. The demonstration which was organized by the Armenian Committee of Belgium was against the Turkish/Azerbaijani aggression and for peace. Upon the invitation of the EAFJD three MEPs: Peter Van Dalen (EPP, Netherlands) Francois Alfonsi ( Green/EFA, France) and Costas Mavrides (S&D, Cyprus) took the floor and addressed the demonstrators, expressing their support.
European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy