Baku Must Sign Non-Aggression Pact, Say European Armenians


BRUSSELS–The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy repeated calls on Friday for European Union to condemn Azerbaijan for a recent attack on Karabakh and the OSCE Minsk Group to require Baku to sign a non-aggression pact as a precondition in the Minsk Group mediated peace talks.

In a written statement, the pan-European Armenian advocacy organization responded to a recent statement on Karabakh by the Presidents of France, Russia and the United States, in which they reiterated their expectations for a quick settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

The European Armenian Federation described the statement, which referred to Karabakh as occupied territory, as an “inherently imbalanced” and “one sided” assessment of the situation.” The Presidents’ statement, the Federation underscored, “compromises the future of negotiations” and jeopardizes “the hope for a durable peace in the region.”

“The Federation notes, for example, that while the [July 10, 2009] L’Aquila statement referred to the territorial package of the negotiations as “the territories surrounding the Nagorno Karabakh,” the Toronto statement deliberately qualifies these as “occupied territories” thus taking sides with Azerbaijan on a fundamental issue of the negotiating process.

“We expected the Presidents to deliver a firm condemnation of the most recent Azerbaijani act of aggression violating the existing Cease Fire Agreement and causing major bloodshed along the Cease Fire line,” said Hilda Tchoboian, the President of the European Armenian Federation. “Instead, they adopted the vocabulary and the positions of Azerbaijan in their joint statement.”

“We are indeed surprised,” she said. “Such neglect relating to such vital issues impacting the basic security of the Armenian people in the region is unacceptable.”

Tchoboian said, that the European Armenian Federation believes that the cease-fire violation and murder of four border guards in Karabakh have shaken Yerevan’s confidence in the negotiations process. “These attacks, the day following the meeting between the Armenian and Azeri presidents in St Petersburg, proved once again that [Azeri] President Aliyev is preparing for war, while misleading the world by participating in the OSCE peace process.”

“The international community must take note of Azerbaijan’s excessive investments in armaments and military technology…before it is too late,” she stressed. “The world must also take seriously the warmongering statements by the top Azerbaijani leaders.”

“Not to firmly criticize the Azerbaijani state for its acts of aggression and its violations of the Cease Fire Agreement would make the Co-Chair nations of the Minsk Group indirect promoters of the arms race in the region, rapidly leading to the disintegration of the peace process which they are mandated to enforce. The world cannot afford to have a repetition of Munich 1938 in the South Caucasus” said Tchoboian.

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