Uruguay Parliament Speaker Visits Karabakh [Updated]

Uruguay Parliament Speaker Jorge Orrico gives a speech at Armenia's parliament Monday

Becomes first high-level official to visiting Artsakh Republic

STEPANAKERT—The speaker of the Uruguay Parliament Jorge Orrico traveled to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) and met with President Bako Sahakian and other officials, reported Armenpress news agency.

Orrico was greeted in Stepanakert by a large crowd of residents who welcomed this first high-level foreign official to visit Artsakh outside of the OSCE Minsk Group officials, who are tasked with finding peaceful resolution to the conflict.

President Bako Sahakian with the Uruguay parliamentary delegation

Uruguay Might be First to Recognize Artsakh
Uruguay parliament foreign relations committee member Ruben Martinez Huelmo, in response to a journalist’s question about Uruguay being the first to recognize the independence of Artsakh, said:  “I can honestly say, theoretically, YES,” reported the Stepanakert-based Aparaj newspaper.

He added that “this is political process and it must develop step by step.”

“Visiting Artsakh is not such a bold move, it merely a step. We are friend with the Armenian people. We must especially stress the role the ANC office plays in fostering Armenia-Uruguay relations,” added Huelmo.

Meeting with President Bako Sahakian and Uruguay Parliament Speaker Jorge Orrico

During the meeting with Sahakian and his staff, development of bi-lateral relations with Uruguay was discussed.

Sahakian emphasized that Artsakh and Uruguay are friendly nations, which possess many shared characteristics including their history, their government philosophy. These characteristics, Sahakian said, are beneficial for development of relations between the two countries.

President Sahakian praised Uruguay’s role in the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as well as that country’s balanced approach to the recognition of Artsakh and Karabakh-Azerbaijan conflict resolution process.

The two leaders emphasized the imperative for strengthening relations and the need for concrete steps to achieve this goal.

Joiing Orrico and Huelmo in Uruguay delegation were parliament members Ricardo Planchon, Richard Sander and Daniel Radio.

President Bako Sahakian greets Uruguay parliamentary delegation at the presidential office

Participating in the meeting were Artsakh Parliament Speaker Shot Ghoulian, Artsakh’s Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan, Armenia’s Ambassador to Uruguay Vahagn Melikyan, Armenian National Assembly members, including Armenian Revolutionary Federation bloc member Vahan Hovannesian and representatives of the Armenian National Committee of Uruguay.

Orrico is on an official visit to Armenia at the invitation of Armenia’s Parliament Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan. The Uruguay official visited Dzidzernagapert memorial monument and held meetings with officials. Uruguay was the first country to recognize the Armenian Gencoide in 1965.

In September, 2011, in an unprecedented announcement the Foreign Minister of Uruguay Luis Almagro said that his government has begun the process to make an official announcement regarding the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, reported Asbarez.

“Today we are looking into the issue [Nagorno-Karabakh] in order to present an official government position on the matter,” said Almagro at the time. “I am personally convinced that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of historic Armenia and it must be independent and in a short while be unified with Armenia. This is the only resolution to the Artsakh issue.”

Almagro was speaking at conference in Uruguay’s capital organized by the Armenian National Committee of South America and the Uruguay-Armenia parliamentary group marking the 20th anniversary of the Armenia’s Independence, highlighting Uruguay-Armenia relations.

Hovannesian, who was in Montevideo at the time of Almagro’s announcement, welcomed the statement calling it unprecedented.

“For the first time, a progressive and democratic country such as Uruguay is officially expressing a position, which reflects the posturing of the ruling political forces,” said Hovannesian in 2011, who stressed that the process will take some time.

“I’m honored to represent the country, which was the first to recognize the Armenian Genocide,” Orrico said, speaking at Tuesday’s Armenian National Assembly session.

Armenia and Uruguay have a number of similarities: both are small states surrounded by large countries, Orrico said.

Orrico recalled that Uruguay was the first country to recognize the Armenian Genocide and began the process of international recognition of the Armenian Gencoide.

“We are the grandsons of those Uruguayans, who opened their hearts in 1915 to accept the persecuted peoples. We are honored to be the first to accept the Armenian Genocide by law. It happened on April 22, 1965. I would like to note that we have an Armenian Genocide museum in our country and every year on April 24 we hold commemorative events at the Chamber of Representatives. We are a piece of Armenia in South America,” said Orrico.

“We are an open country and are trying to become the most democratic in our region. If there were just a few countries Uruguay was cooperating with several decades ago, today it has economic relations with over 120 countries of the world and is proud of the steady economic growth for nine years in a row and an attractive investment climate,” explained Orrico.


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  1. M.S.K. said:

    Thanks to Uruguay Parliament Speaker and the people of Uruguay for supporting Armenian issues

  2. Me said:

    A high ranking delegation from friendly Uruguay is visiting Armenia and the president is out of county. One should fire this president and his foreign minister and his staff all together!

  3. HAIG said:

    We should be asking ourselves, how do we pay them back?
    Uruguay has always backed the Armenian people and it is time we do something in return. It only seems fair….

    • Vazken said:

      Visit Uruguay and support it’s tourism industry, remember Uruguay and its people in your prayers, kiss every Uruguayan you meet on the street, help support financially and morally issues pertaining to the welfare of the people of Uruguay, last but not least, always cheer for the Uruguay national football team.

    • Ruben (Artsakh) said:

      As a question back Artsakh Republic must recognize Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

  4. Vazken said:

    We are eternally greatful, GOD bless the righteous people and the beautiful land of Uruguay…

  5. Papken Hartunian said:

    I have a dream! One day, Armenia would be the super power in the region!
    God bless Uruguay and her people.
    Live Uruguay and Armenia beyond ever!

  6. Gagik said:

    It is so disappointing … Why there is a need to publicize this? When we will finally grow up and stop living by emotions?

  7. Gabriel Varjabedian said:

    La visita oficial que se lleva a cabo por estos dìas en la Repùblica de Armenia y Karabaj,se realiza en el marco una profundizaciòn de las relaciones entre ambos paìses,fruto de un acercamiento promovido,de larga data, por la comunidad armenia organizada y en especial por el Consejo Causa Armenia del Uruguay.Esta instancia de arduo trabajo,pretende la consecuciòn de elevar el nivel a esferas de posibles intercambios concretos y la necesidad de fortalecer el vìnculo comercial,cultural,y conocer la realidad de bloqueo Y latente amenaza de conflicto, por parte de Azerbaidjan.
    Motiva el presente comentario,las inmediatas reacciones del Ministerio de relaciones exteriores del gobierno azerì,quien protesta por la visita,y “pide explicaciones” a la cancillerìa uruguaya.
    Es menester expresar nuestro repudio a esta intromisiòn e injerencia,ante Uruguay,un paìs que convive ajustado al derecho internacional,al principio de buena vecindad y esta representado por un gobierno y Parlamento,legìtimamente electos. Aquì no se acepta condicionamiento de ninguna naturaleza,de parte de paìs extranjero alguno.El señor Aliev,ya ha transgredido suficiente, el Derecho Internacional,para inmiscuirse en la decisiòn de parlamentos y ciudadanos de terceros paìses.La repùblica de Gharabaj es soberana,con un gobierno democràticamente electo,cuyo status se lo confiere la ciudadanìa y la razòn jurìdica que le asiste,luego del desmembarmiento de la URSS.
    Gabriel Varjabedian
    14 de Noviembre de 2012
    Montevideo Uruguay

  8. Defender said:

    Even Armenia hadn’t recognized Karabakh. What bullshit are you talking about?

    • www.Voskanapat.info said:

      Armenia recognizes Artsakh’s independence from Azerbaijan Khanate and proves it every day. There is no need in Turkey-style recognition because unlike Northern Cyprus, Artsakh is not occupied.

  9. Gazzo said:

    We must not launch into an emotional roller coaster. Remember the sarkozi fiasco. Like Orrico says, this is only a step in the process. The process has many many steps to be covered yet.

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