STRASBOURG (ArmRadio)—The delegation representing Armenia at the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe on Monday blasted Azerbaijan for its savage attacks against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which began on April 1, claiming the lives 91 Artsakh soldiers and civilians.
Head of the Armenian delegation to PACE Hermine Naghdalyan addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe referring to the worrying signs of ISIS expanding to other regions, namely the South Caucasus.
Speaking about the Turkey-EU deal on migrants, Naghdalyan stressed that “reached under almost open blackmail of Turkey, this agreement is being heavily criticized for various reasons.”
“The country receives billions of dollars to manage migration flows, which are generated, in part, by the acts of the Islamic State. On the other hand, according to media reports, there are claims that Turkey is financially supporting the Islamic State by purchasing oil from the terrorist group at low prices,” the Armenian lawmaker said.
She quoted the Daily Mail as saying in August 2014, many foreigners joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, travelling through Turkey and that the country is the hub of the terrorist organization.
“Today the Islamic State is declining in Syria. This is encouraging. However, there are worrying signs that ISIS would aim to destabilize other regions, including the South Caucasus,” Hermine Naghdalyan said.
“On April 2, Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh. Many media outlets have reported about the participation of ISIS fighters in the ranks of Azerbaijani armed forces. Maybe this could explain the barbaric acts of violence committed by Azeri forces during the four days of war. The list of war crimes includes bombardment of civilian valuables, schools with use of heavy rocket launchers, killing and mutilating civilians – children and elderly people, committing ISIS-style beheading of already dead soldiers and showcasing the heads to the public,” she added.
“The bloodshed in Nagorno Karabakh was stopped due to the courageous people of Nagorno Karabakh. However, fears remain on the possible expansion of ISIS to new regions that will definitely lead to new wars and tragedies,” the Armenian MP stressed. “I add my voice to those calling to combine efforts in fighting terrorism in all its form, to take further measures, deal with radicalization and hate speech and make it clear that war is not an option. Tolerance is an attribute of the strong.”
Naira Zohrabyan, member of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has accused PACE of supporting Azeri aggression.
According to her, the Parliamentary Assembly gave Azerbaijan a carte blanche for unleashing large-scale military actions all along the line of contact with Nagorno Karabakh.
“On the night of April 2, Azerbaijan unleashed large-scale military actions, using tanks, rocket launchers, and air forces. The Armenian military positions and civilians were targeted,” Naira Zohrabyan said. She reminded that a child was killed on his way to school, combatants were tortured and beheaded.
“Aliyev’s mercenaries committed war crimes and bombed civilian establishments, while the President of our Assembly encouraged the Azeri military criminals,” Zohrabyan said.
“The current President of the Parliamentary Assembly is the representative of Azerbaijan. He’s the spokesperson of Ilham Aliyev. When making his first visit to Azerbaijan after being elected, he confirmed his loyalty to Aliyev’s tyranny. At the difficult moment of military actions, Pedro Agramunt made a statement that openly encouraged the homicidal regime of Aliyev,” she added.
“The Council of Europe is an organization with 47 member states that should represent and defend the interests of all European citizens. The President of such an organization should be impartial and equitable and not someone who openly defends tyranny in criminal Azerbaijan,” the Armenian lawmaker concluded.
“Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale military aggression against the people of Nagorno Karabakh, violating the international humanitarian law and committing war crimes,” member of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Samvel Farmanyan said at PACE plenary session in Strasbourg. The full speech is provided below:
“Almost two months have passed since the last part-session of the Assembly. And we discuss here what has been done in this period of time. Evidently our values have been brutally and cynically attacked, first in the very heart of Europe – bloody terror attacks in Brussels, and then on the southeastern shore of our continent – in Nagorno-Karabakh where Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale military aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh violating international humanitarian law and committing war crimes. Let me join the words of sympathy addressed to the families of all victims. I also join the voices of those hundreds of thousands of people who marched yesterday in Brussels and in different capitals of Europe and the globe since the bloody escalation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh calling for peace.
The progress report refers to one of the notorious discussions we had here in January. Let me recall, Chairman, that the voices against the controversial reports by Robert Walter and Milica Markovic in this very hemi-cycle were based on the tangible assumption that any attempt to approve groundless and one-sided resolutions or any selective application to the principles of international law will only damage the peace process and serve as smokescreen for the Azerbaijani autocratic leadership to resume large scale military actions undermining the peace process and threatening fragile stability in the entire region of South Caucasus. While raising concerns we had in mind such development of the events that happened afterwards and unfortunately, our concerns became to be a kind of bad prediction that cost hundreds of innocent lives from all sides of the conflict.
While considering this progress report, colleagues, we can’t jump over the efforts the permanent bodies of the Assembly have taken or rather mistaken regarding this tragedy. A repeatedly clear message was delivered to Azerbaijani leadership since the very birth of escalation that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement of the conflict and that war is not an option. Presidents of France, United States, Russia, heads of dozens of other countries and hundreds of foreign ministries, Secretary Generals of the UN, OSCE, CoE, high-level officials of EU, dozens of other international organizations joint their voice and reputation to deliver that unequivocal and uncompromising message to President Aliev to stop military aggression.
While increasingly strong and univocal message of the international community to Aliev was a window of hope for peace to avoid further escalation of the situation, irresponsible rhetoric of Mr. Agramunt, came to contradict our Assembly to the international community this time not by ignorance of excessive human rights violations in Azerbaijan but by his exceptionally dangerous wording clearly siding himself with Azerbaijan in that particularly fragile situation. Unfortunately, Mr. Agramunt’s statement came to once again confirm his impartiality as President of the Assembly and empowers media reports about his alleged engagement in Azerbaijani lobbying structures seriously damaging Assembly’s image in the eyes of millions of Europeans and all members of our House of Democracy.”