Belgian Parliament President Says Karabakh is Rich in Democracy, Not Oil

President of the Francophone Parliament of Brussels Julie De Groot
President of the Francophone Parliament of Brussels Julie De Groot

President of the Francophone Parliament of Brussels, Julie De Groot (Source:

YEREVAN (—Nagorno-Karabakh is rich in democratic values, not oil, head of the Francophone Parliament of Brussels, Julie De Groote, told reporters on Saturday while visiting the National Assembly of Armenia, commenting on her recent visit to Artsakh with a Belgian parliamentary delegation.

De Groote said that people need to see and realize what democracy means in Artsakh.

“We met with the ruling and opposition parties, and saw how the parties are working after the parliamentary elections on May 23,” De Groote said. “Now, we have a starting point, based on which we can track the development of democracy in Armenia.”

Member of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region, Simone Susskind, said for her part that the Belgian parliamentary delegates knew that because of their visit to Nagorno-Karabak they could be restricted from entering Azerbaijan, but that they have taken it in stride. They have already received writs from the Azerbaijani embassy in Brussels.

“[But] this does not prevent us from coming back to Armenia and Karabakh again and again, and to introduce the ongoing processes in these republics to European society,” Susskind said.

Susskin added that the Belgian lawmakers who traveled to Armenia and Karabakh were surprised by the lack of anti-Azerbaijani propaganda.

“We were surprised to see that there is no propaganda of hatred against the opponent, especially knowing about Azerbaijani leadership’s attitude toward civil society. Of course, it will be difficult to compare [the] situation with Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, we know that a part of Azerbaijani civil society does not share [the] position of the authorities,” she added.

Susskind said that this does not mean that the superiority of one party has to be underlined. According to her, it is necessary to maintain contacts between the societies of Armenia, Karabakh, and Azerbaijan.

“We have to understand how to promote dialogue,”she said.


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