STEPANAKERT—“We must recognize Nagorno-Karabakh, Karabakh in order to demonstrate to the world Karabakh’s democracy and to let the people of the world know that the people of Karabakh want to live free and independent,” said French member of Parliament Valery Boyer on Friday during her second visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, reported RFE/RL.
Boyer, who is the author of the French bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, is also a founding member of the France-Karabakh Friendship Group, which was inaugurated last month.
“By creating the France-Karabakh Friendship Group, we have set our goal to recognize Karabakh and to secure conditions for the people of that country to live freely,” added Boyer.
Boyer is part of delegation of European legislators who are on a fact-finding mission to Karabakh and upon arrival in Stepanakert began visiting the sites and engaged in meetings with Karabakh officials.
“We continue to be your humble servants, and are awaiting your direction,” said European Parliament member from Greece Eleni Teokharus, who is also part of the delegation.
Teokharus first visited Karabakh 25 years ago as a volunteer surgeon. Visiting Karabakh today, she said that Artsakh is her second home.
“But for me Artsakh is neither a motherland nor a fatherland. It is like a new-born child, whom I cuddle and care for as a mother, because from its birth it has had difficulties. Despite this, it is now a struggling Democracy,” said Teokharus.
“Today we are here to defend the people of Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self-determination. Regardless of which principle supersedes the other in the eyes of international law, but the day will come when we, in Europe, and the rest of the world will comprehend that people’s right to self-determination is of utmost importance,” added the Greek legislator.
The European delegation was greeted by Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Parliament Speaker Ashot Ghulian who expressed the gratitude of the people of Artsakh for the cooperation and the belief in Karabakh’s democracy by his European colleagues, reported the Aparaj newspaper, which is the official organ of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee of Artsakh.
The discussions centered on strengthening of legislative diplomatic ties. The importance of creating parliamentary friendship groups and mutual visits was highlighted.
Leaders of Karabakh parliamentary blocs Gagik Petrosian, Janna Galstian and Armen Sargsyan also took part in the meetings. The chairman of the Armenia’s Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Relations, Artak Zakaryan and parliament member Tevan Poghosyan accompanied the delegation to Artsakh.