May 26, 2023
Yesterday, the Republic of Armenia’s leadership met with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia to continue advancing the process of securing a regional peace agreement. Citing its rationale of making it possible for the citizens of Artsakh to be “guaranteed their security and rights,” Armenia has indicated that it intends to officially agree that Azerbaijan has sovereignty over the people of Artsakh.
AGBU, along with many Armenians across the Armenian World, rejects the validity of this rationalization. While all Armenians want stability, peace and security for Armenia and the region, we are deeply concerned by the prospect of Armenia signing away the fate of the Armenians of Artsakh to an enemy that knows no bounds in reaching its dual goals to eradicate Armenians from Artsakh and ultimately win hegemony in the region, which puts the sovereignty of Armenia, itself, at stake. Especially concerning is Azerbaijan stating that no country, including Armenia, will be permitted to stand in the way of its objectives for the population of Artsakh, signaling that blockades, humanitarian terrorism, and cultural genocide in Artsakh will all be fair game.
“The history of this conflict over the past 30 years shows that Azerbaijan has never been an honest negotiating partner, “states AGBU President Berge Setrakian. “It has failed to honor any international treaty, convention, agreement, or law where the people of Artsakh are concerned. Ilham Aliyev’s relentless anti-Armenian public rhetoric, unprovoked military aggressions against civilian Armenian communities, and deprivation of thousands of Armenians in Artsakh with a ruthless economic blockade are evidence enough. We know that signing this document is tantamount to giving Azerbaijan a blank check to complete its mission to eradicate Artsakh of all Armenians, with impunity.”
For 30 years, the people of Artsakh have tried to exercise their right to self-determination, as defined by the second article of the United Nation’s Charter and the principles of the OSCE Minsk Group. Self-determination is the only acceptable course of action and the world community must step up to finally see this process through. As such, AGBU calls upon all international bodies to support the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination, otherwise, they will be further subjected to ethnic cleansing by an Azerbaijan that consistently and unapologetically fails to fulfill its end of a settlement.
The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted to upholding the Armenian heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs. Each year, AGBU is committed to making a difference in the lives of 500,000 people across Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian diaspora. Since 1906, AGBU has remained true to one overarching goal: to create a foundation for the prosperity of all Armenians. To learn more visit www.agbu.org.