13:40 17/05/2017 Armenia

British MP: UK should recognize the Armenian Genocide

Author Nvard Chalikyan

British MP Stephen Pound in the video interview says that the United Kingdom owes it to the Armenian people to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Pound, who has raised this issue as well as the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh many times in the British Parliament, also criticizes Azerbaijan for its aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh and for being a failed state. 


Mr. Pound, who has personally visited Artsakh, describes Stepanakert as a modern city. He also saw in Shushi the bullets that were left over as a result of the fighting; “I saw a… missile sticking out of the wall of a Monastery! We can’t have that”, – he says. He believes that such visits are important because on the one hand the ongoing cross-border incursions from Azerbaijan are very dangerous, and on the other hand because Azerbaijan stages propaganda wars, publicity coups and gives special treatment to some parliamentarians from UK. The propaganda war in Europe is being fought by an organization called TEAS – The European-Azerbaijani Society.

“[TEAS] spreads propaganda that there are refugees and displaced people on both sides. When I was in Stepanakert, I saw with my own eyes – underneath the famous statue of the Daddy and Mommy houses were being built. So if Armenia can build it why on earth Azeris are not building houses for their people; why are they still in tents? I was told that Nagorno-Karabakh was an ‘occupied’ territory. But everybody I spoke to [there] said they were Armenians. Of course they are!” – says the MP.  

Pound believes that the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh is important to the Western nations today partly because it was the most awful consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“Of all the wars that took place (Chechnia, Donetsk)... that was the single most bloody and most awful one, because Nagorno-Karabakh was forcibly contained within the area by Stalin... Also, Azerbaijan is an Azeri country who speaks the same language as the Turks; therefore many people in their folk memories felt there was a great similarity with the past. [The people of Karabakh] were people who were quintessentially Armenian, and you have to allow the people the privilege of choosing where they want to be – they wanted to be in Armenia”, – he says.

As for Azerbaijan, Steven Pound highlights that Azerbaijan has many internal issues with corruption, human rights and economy and that instead of focusing on Karabakh they should pay greater attention to these issues. 

“Azerbaijan is a failed state. It is a state which is run on corruption, a state which is immensely rich but is utterly corrupt at every level – from President to the President’s family... The Azeris have more important things to do than to worry about Artsakh... When you have a country that is a failed state the easiest thing to do is to choose an enemy outside. The idea of Armenia being an aggressor nation I find particularly bizarre. On the other hand Azerbaijan jails dissidents, has no free press, has utter censorship. They find it easier to say ‘don’t look inwards, look outwards... Instead of worrying about Armenia they should look at their own reflection in the mirror”, – he says. 

Stephen Pound has also many times raised the issue of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the UK in the British Parliament. “I think I owe it, like anyone else in this Parliament does, to those people whom we didn’t help in 1915”, – he says, calling the report by Lord Bryce and Arnold Toynbee on the Armenian Genocide as a way in which England made reparation for its lack of assistance during those times.

The British MP stresses also that what the Ottoman Empire sought to destroy was a very advanced and unique Armenian culture, and says that Turkey should pay reparations to Armenians, following the example of Germany and Austria. 

“The reparation issue is entirely valid and fair. Germany has paid reparations to Poland after the World War II. If Poland could get reparations from Germany and Austria (they created a fund of reparations which is absolutely important because it gives a closure) it means that Poland can now be at peace with Germany.

Never mind what happened before, they have accepted it, apologised for it and made reparations. If modern Turkey could do the same thing then I think that could bring a measure of peace and satisfaction to Armenia. Ultimately, when I visited Western Armenia, as I still think of it, I would love to see those villages occupied again, particularly around Lake Van – they are so Armenian. Reparations are very important because they are an actual physical demonstration. If Germany and Austria could do it, Turkey also can”, – says the British MP. 

 



Source Panorama.am
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