EU Lawmakers Call for Stricter Measures Against Baku
French officials visiting Armenia, as well as members of the European Parliament are ramping up their calls for stricter measures against Azerbaijan as it continues to blockade Artsakh and on Wednesday blocked the entry of a convoy of trucks with humanitarian aid from France.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo led the delegation of French officials to Armenia who are accompanying the humanitarian assistance.
During a press conference in Kornidzor at the entrance of the Lachin Corridor, Hidalgo said that event in Artsakh are reminiscent of genocide.
She noted that this has been acknowledged by international experts, including former prosecutor of the International Court of Justice, the Special Adviser to UN Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide.
“Ethnic cleansing and genocide by an authoritarian regime against people who simply want their rights to be respected. We are here to witness and condemn this situation, and we also appeal to the President of France to utilize the position of France in the UN Security Council to push for adoption of a resolution to ensure the protection of rights of the Artsakh people,” Hidalgo said said.
Xavier Bertrand, the president of the regional council of Hauts-de-France, called on President Emmanuel Macron of France to introduce a resolution in the United Nations Security Council regarding the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh.
“We are here to deliver two messages. The first message is rather addressed to international public opinion. All people present here are well aware what’s happening here, but the same cannot be said about people outside this hall and outside Armenia,” said Bertrand.
“Everyone who’s here today knows very well whats happening in Artsakh. But we can’t say the same about many who are outside Armenia. Many don’t know that in 2023 Azerbaijan is not allowing the Armenians of Artsakh to live. Many don’t know that children in Artsakh are unable to eat normally, that newborns don’t have sufficient food, and many don’t know that access to gas, water and electricity is very limited there,” Bertrand added.
“These people are deprived of everything because of Azerbaijan, which is disregarding international law. This is why representatives of various French regions joined and organized this humanitarian convoy, in order for people to be able to live with dignity, until international law fully functions. And we have been barred. And we want to raise this issue and condemn this,” Bertrand said, calling on other international actors to initiate humanitarian aid to Artsakh as well.
“Azerbaijan wants to turn Nagorno Karabakh into a prison and force Armenians out of the region. What do we need to do for the international community to wake up? Do we need to wait another few days, weeks or months for hundreds to die because of lack of nutrition? Is this what we need to wait for?” the French official added.
He noted that this tragedy can be averted. “The international community should remember what happened last century. We are politicians with most different political views, but we all demand from the President of France to introduce a resolution to the UN Security Council in support of the people of Artsakh.”
“The second message is very simple and very straightforward. We want to tell our friends in Armenia and Artsakh that we are aware of the seriousness of the situation, but you are not alone, we stand by you and are here to demonstrate that,” Bertrand stated.
Another French delegation members Patrick Karam, who rerpresents the Regional council of France’s Île-de-France, said that he will file a complaint at the International Criminal Court against Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for his actions against Nagorno-Karabakh.
Karam said the French diplomacy must go beyond its comfort zone and act.
“I have requested my lawyer, who is accredited at the International Criminal Court, to file a complaint against President of Azerbaijan Aliyev. The goal is to target President Aliyev personally, he is the despot and we must fight against him personally,” Karam said.
Other European Lawmakers Call for Tougher Measures Against Baku
Member of the European Parliament Nathalie Loiseau, who visited Armenia earlier this year, has called for sanctions against the government of Azerbaijan for its actions in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“There’s a humanitarian disaster in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Loiseau, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Security and Defense Subcommittee said in a post on X. “It is time to impose sanctions against Azerbaijan,” she added.
German lawmaker, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Germany’s Bundestag Michael Roth has called out Azerbaijan for jeopardizing the peace process with Armenia and causing a humanitarian disaster in Nagorno-Karabakh.
He called for the expansion of a European Union fact-finding mission to Artsakh.
“There’s a real danger of a humanitarian disaster and ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan is thus jeopardizing the fragile Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process and security in South Caucasus. The EU and Germany must not remain silent. Azerbaijan must immediately lift the blockade. We need a CoE fact-finding mission in Nagorno-Karabakh. The EU mission in Armenia (EUMA) must be enhanced and cover also Azerbaijan’s state territory,” Roth said in a post on X.