Javakhk Community Leader Holds Talks at European Parliament

From l to r: Traian Ungureanu, Kaspar Karapetian and Artak Gabrielyan

JAVAKHK (A-Info)—The coordinator of the Council of Armenian Organizations (NGOs) of Samtskhe-Javakheti (Javakhk) and director of the A-Info news agency Artak Gabrielyan traveled to Brussels earlier this month and held meetings with key members of the European Parliament and other European Union officials.

Artak Gabrielyan and Andrey Kovachev

During his visit to Brussels, Gabrielyan met with Euro-Parliament Vice-Speaker Yorghos Papastamakos (member of the Euro-Parliament South Caucasus delegation), Traian Ungureanu, member of the Euro-Parliament Committee of Foreign Relations and Andrey Kovachev, Vice-Chairman of Euro-Parliament Committee of Foreign Relations, Charles Tannock, member of the Euro-Parliament Committee on Foreign Relations and Human Rights and Jiri Mastalka, member of the Euro-Parliament Bureau and Euronest.

At these meetings, Gabrielyan introduced the plight of the Armenian community Javakhk, highlighting that his visit to Brussels comes as a result of the refusal of Georgian authorities to meet with representatives of the Javakhk Armenian community.

He also presented each person with a Memorandum to the European Parliament, which details the issues facing Javakhk and highlights demands that have been put forth by the Council of Armenian Organizations (NGOs) of Samtskhe-Javakhk.

Charles Tannock with Artak Gabrielyan

The demands Samtskhe-Javakheti Armenians include:
1. Granting of autonomous territorial status (with its own directly elected assembly) to Samtskhe-Javakheti and the adjacent Armenian majority Tsalka district within a federal Georgia;
2. Allowing the use of the Armenian language in public administration in those municipalities―such as Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda―in which Armenians make up a majority; an unfulfilled accession commitment Georgia undertook when it joined the Council of Europe in 1999, namely the signing of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages;
3. Social and economic development projects for the region to bring it up to par with the rest of the country;
4. Improved Armenian representation in local and state institutions; and
5. An end to social engineering by the settlement of ethnic non-Armenians from other parts of the country in Samtskhe-Javakheti.

From l to r: Kaspar Karapetian, Artak Gabrielyan and Jiri Mastalka

Gabrielyan also stressed that the Council wanted the European Union and Europe, in general, to be engaged in this process and to urge its ally, Georgia, to properly address the issues pertaining to Javakhk.

Gabrielyan was accompanied by members of the European Armenian Federation (ANC of Europe) Kaspar Karapetian and Bedo Demirdjian.

Read the entire Memorandum to the European Parliament and European Institutions.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter Megerdumian said:

    The Europeans have stabbed the Armenians in the back many times. The Armenians and the Georgians should make peace and the Georgians should realize that they are chess pieces for the West to play the Great chess game with Russia. Peace and understanding between Armenia and Gerogia is a win-win situation. Their primary interest of the EU is in new pipelines so promoting peace will facilitate the building of pipelines in the minds of the Europeans. Eventhough their motives are not really benevolent, we can atleast be happy if they can promote peace and understanding between Armenia and Georgia .

  2. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    We thank the Javakhk Community Leader in discussing the harrasement of Armenians at the European Parliament. Georgia has been putting pressure on the Armenian Community in Javakhk for years trying to drive them out of their Historic Homeland & trying to bring back the Meskhi Turks. It is time for the Armenian Government to step in & work with the Georgian Government to stop the harrasement of the Armenians & to allow them to have their own schools to teach their Armenian Language & etc.

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