Rights Group Asks Kocharian to Include Refugee Issues in Talks YEREVAN

(Yerkir)–Refugees and International Law civil association network has sent an open letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharian. The text of the letter is presented below:

Your Excellency,

Refugees and International Law civil association network–with a mission to protect rights of Armenian refugees expelled from Soviet Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan by force–suggests that you include the issue of 500,000 Armenian refugees in the agenda of your talks on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Any settlement–leaving out restoration and full protection of rights of hundreds of our compatriots is not satisfactory.

Problems of Armenian refugees can be divided into three main categories:

1. Acquiring a Fatherland,

2. Compensation of direct material and moral damage–resulting from deportation from Soviet Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan

3. Compensation of indirect material and moral damage–resulting from deportation from Soviet Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan.

Surveys among Armenian refugees indicate that they will not return to their previous residences under the jurisdiction of the Azerbaijan. We already had an opportunity to state that as the Azerbaijan has refused to become the successor of the Soviet Azerbaijan–the only legal successor of the latter is the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

If Armenian refugees from Soviet Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan are granted Nagorno-Karabakh citizenship and if they get territories–outside the boundaries–within which the Karabakh was declared–but on which it has jurisdiction over today–this can partially solve their problems.

Refugees and International Law civil association network has also appealed to the US Embassy in Armenia–suggesting that it organizes a meeting with OSCE Minsk Group’s US Co-Chair Matthew Bryza. During this meeting the group plans to submit a message to Mr. Bryza–addressed to Minsk Group co-chairs and discuss issues and concerns facing Armenian refugees."

The same organization sent a similar message to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.

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