Politics 12:38 24/09/2022 Armenia

Armenian MP: Council of Europe's silence encourages more aggression by Azerbaijan

Opposition Hayastan bloc MP Armen Gevorgyan, a member of the Armenian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), delivered remarks at the meeting of the PACE Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development held in Izmir, Turkey, on Friday. Below is his full statement publicized by the Armenian parliament’s press office.

"Madam Chair,

Dear Committee Members,

I would like to brief the Committee Members about the recent developments in our region.

On midnight of September 13 Azerbaijan began an unprovoked and unjustified armed incursion into the territory of Armenia. As a result of this massive aggression that continued a few days, more than 200 Armenian servicemen were killed, including some of them in captivity. Around two dozen are still held in captivity. Three servicewomen were not only killed, but their bodies were mutilated in ways that were once a signature by ISIS militants. Huge damage has been done to the nature of the popular resort of Jermuk, famous for its healing mineral waters.

Azerbaijan occupied more territories inside Armenia, on top of the acquisitions since May 2021.

This war was launched in breach to the ongoing negotiations held by mediation of Russia, the European Union and the United States. On September 15 almost all members of the UN Security Council in their individual capacities had strongly criticized this breach of peace and urged to return to negotiations. Some members did not even hide behind diplomatic language, and clearly identified the aggressor state. The discussion in the UN Security Council reaffirms that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is not resolved, as the Azerbaijani authorities are trying to present.

Colleagues,

Yet we face a difficult choice in the Council of Europe. One Member State periodically attacks another Member, while the Council fails to act proactively. This organisation, in contrast to many others, chooses to limit itself to unclear statements, avoids any objective assessments and any sanctions against a disloyal state.

The silence of our organisation and our voluntary disengagement essentially encourage more aggression by states like Azerbaijan - which see no punishment for its aggression against a neighbour, but only sees a revalidation of its own narratives.

My compatriots refuse to believe that the promise of access to the Caspian’s gas and oil can overshadow the minds inside our organization. Do we not want to see the global plans of Turkic states to physically unite separate parts of their states through the occupation or annexation of the sovereign territory of Armenia and the lives of hundreds of innocent citizens?

In fact, we are witnessing double standards and geopolitics. Otherwise, what is the explanation that even the wars in our organization receive different attitude and responses? Objectively, there can be no good and bad, right and wrong wars. Yet we often detect it in our resolutions and actions.

Dear Committee Members,

A few days ago, on September 21, Armenia celebrated Independence Day. And even though Armenians in Armenia and in Nagorno Karabakh have been laboring to overcome a truly massive challenges, our nation will continue to strive and live in dignity. This deep sense of dignity is rooted in the historical heritage that in this part of the world the Armenian civilisation has built and created over the past millenniums. We have always built and created wherever we had lived - whether in homeland or scattered in the world.

This is true for modern-day Turkey as well, where a sizeable portion of the heritage has Armenian roots or Armenian touch, be that the Hagia Sophia or the Dolmabahce /Դոլմաբահչե/ palace in Istanbul. The same was in Baku, where a lot was built and created by the Armenians. It was the case in Izmir, where the rich Armenian cultural and historical heritage unfortunately was interrupted in 1922. By the way, many well-known political, state and public figures of different countries of Armenian origin come from ancient Smyrna. Among them are the late Prime Minister of France Édouard Ballaudur, the first Prime Minister of Egypt Nubar Pasha, the famous American businessman and philanthropist, the national hero of Armenia Alec Manoogian and others.

I thank you for your attention."



Source Panorama.am
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