YEREVAN—A conference entitled “Lithuania and Armenia: a look to the recent past” dedicated to the 25 anniversary of the democratic movements in Armenia and Lithuania and the National liberation struggle of the Armenians of Artsakh took place in the Lithuanian parliament on February 26.
The participants also honored the memory of the victims of the Sumgait massacre.
Members of the Lithuanian legislature, representatives of political, social and academic circles, including the founding members of the Lithuanian movement of “Sajudis” as well as members of the Armenian community of Lithuania participated at the conference.
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan was invited as a special guest of the conference and delivered a speech where he noted that the movements of the national revival that united the Armenian and Lithuanian peoples around common ideals and principles of freedom and democracy have resulted in independence.
“In Lithuania’s case the independence gave its people a chance to restore its statehood and fully integrate into the international community, the European Union,” stated Karen Mirzoyan, stressing that the people of Artsakh not only had to assert its right to freedom and independence but also to struggle for its survival and right to live on the land of its ancestors.
The minister reminded that Azerbaijan from the very beginning rejected dialogue and search for political settlement of the issue, resorting to the threats and terror, in response to the peaceful and lawful demands of the people of the Nagorno Karabakh.
“But our people withstood and passed the test of the imposed war. In May 1994 the ceasefire agreement was signed which gave us opportunity of peaceful life and building of an independent statehood,” said Mirzoyan.
He stressed that the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is committed to the democratic way of state building, which guarantees all the fundamental human rights and freedoms. Even though Nagorno Karabakh is an unrecognized state and may not undertake commitments to observe the universal democratic standards before international organizations, but it is steadfast in following them.
“Moreover the human rights record in our republic is significantly higher than in many recognized states, which was reflected in the last Freedom House report,” said Mirzoyan. He expressed regret that the no being an internationally recognized state poses a barrier for Karabakh’s complete involvement in the international developments that in turn limits the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms of its citizens.
Touching on Karbabakh conflict resolution issue, Mirzoyan reiterated the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s commitment to the peaceful settlement of all disputable issues with Azerbaijan. At the same time he noted with regret that official Baku does not only reject all the proposals of the mediators but also suppresses any even weak initiatives towards reconciliation, as well as implants cult of hatred towards Armenians and anything Armenian and propagates xenophobia, intolerance and militaristic moods.
Armenian parliament member and a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation bloc Vahan Hovannesian and Armenia’s Ambassador to Lithuania Ara Ayvazyan addressed the conference and emphasized that the democratic processes, which began 25 years ago are irreversible. They highlighted the importance of the ideas and the spirit in the peaceful settlement of conflicts.
Lithuanian parliament members Dangutė Mikutienė, Algis Kašėta, Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė also delivered speeches and mentioned the importance of the imperative of staying committed to the ideas of the democratic movements.
Lithuanian Parliament member Dalia Kuodyte read a declaration on establishing in the Lithuanian parliament a friendship group with Republic of Artsakh (the Nagorno Karabakh Republic). The original copy of the signed document was officially handed in to Mirzoyan. Nine members of different fractions of the Lithuanian Parliament joined the initiative.
This initiative angered Azerbaijan, which sent a protest note to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
Azerbaijani Ambassador to Lithuania Hasan Mammadzade met with the leadership of the Lithuanian Parliament and Foreign Ministry in this regard.