VITORIA-GASTEIZ, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain—On Friday, September 12, a European Union regional parliament, for the first time in history, adopted a motion supporting the self-determination of the Artsakh Republic following several official visits to the region that were organized by the European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA).
The motion adopted Friday by the Basque Parliament praises the strong determination of the Artsakh people in their choice for democracy, despite the hard and difficult situation. In addition, it states that Karabakh’s people have the right to decide their own future, namely their self-determination, which is the fundamental element in any negotiation for the final settlement of the conflict. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of Nagorno-Karabakh’s participation in the OSCE Minsk Group conflict resolution negotiations.
Artsakh’s Foreign Minister, Karen Mirzoyan, with the assistance of the European Friends of Armenia, traveled to the Basque Country on this occasion and met with top Basque Country government officials as well as with private entities with an interest in Artsakh.
Mirzoyan met with Martin Garitano Larrañaga, Governor of the Gipuzkoa province of the Basque Country. Garitano welcomed Mirzoyan and said that Gipuzkoa recognized Artsakh as an independent state and expressed confidence that the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the Basque Country would achieve international recognition.
A meeting with representatives of the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao also took place. Possibilities for establishing cooperation between the University of the Basque Country and Artsakh State University were discussed.
“I am particularly pleased by the acknowledgment of the democratic governance development of Nagorno-Karabakh and the recognition of the efforts they are doing in transposing EU legislation. Nagorno-Karabakh’s society should be proud that their commitment for democracy as an inalienable part of the European space is not only recognized in the US, but also in the EU,” says EuFoA Director Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, who accompanied Mirzoyan on his visit to the Basque Country.
The Basque country is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities since 1979 and has a population of approximately 2.5 million people. It has its own executive and legislative institutions. The Basque government is among the most independent sub-state governments in Europe. Moreover, the Basque Country has its own External Actions Service, at the head of a network of over 200 political and cultural delegations worldwide. From an economic point of view, the Basque Country represents one of the European Union’s most developed areas, showing an annual GDP per capital of over 31,000 euros, 20% higher than the EU average.
Good news. Artsakh’s recognition is approaching fast. The decisive, principled approach of the Basque parliament is commendable, and is a good leading example of what good, honest efforts will lead to.