Says Azerbaijan Has No Moral or Historic Claim to Artsakh
UNITED NATIONS—In a speech at 72nd UN General Assembly on Tuesday, President Serzh Sarkisian announced that Yerevan will declare the Armenia-Turkey Protocols null and void, saying Turkey has not shown any positive progress toward their implementation. In discussing the Karabakh conflict, Sarkisian told the international body that Azerbaijan has no historic claim or right to Artsakh, adding that its independence must be recognized.
Sarkisian said Armenia has “never made the recognition of the Armenian Genocide a precondition for the normalization of the bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey. Moreover, it was upon the initiative of Armenia that a normalization process was launched, resulting in the conclusion of the Zürich protocols in October 2009.”
“Up to this day, those documents have not been ratified. Instead, they have festerd in some dark drawers of the official Ankara. The Government of Turkey came up with preposterous preconditions for their ratification that run counter to the letter and spirit of the Protocols. I expressed the clear-cut views of the Armenian people on this issue three years ago, when I spoke from this eminent podium,” added Sarkisian.
“Now the time has come for additional explanations. The leaders of Turkey are mistaken if they think that those documents can be held hostage forever and ratified only at the most opportune occasion from their very point of view. The Protocols were negotiated in the existing circumstances in order to find solutions to the actually existing issues,” added Sarkisian before announcing the Yerevan will declare the Protocols null and void.
“We will enter the spring of 2018 without those, as our experience has demonstrated, futile Protocols,” he declared.
Outlining that the struggle for self-determination by the people of Artsakh began almost 30 years ago, Sarkisian went on to explain that any expression of free will by Artsakh has been met with violence, massacres, ethnic cleansing, deportation and war. These tenets by Baku continue today, he explained, enumerating the grave crimes against humanity committed by the Baku regime, including war crimes during the 2016 April War and state policy of armenophobia and xenophobia, which Sarkisian said is poisoning generations of Azerbaijanis.
“Azerbaijan has no legal or moral ground whatsoever to present any claims toward Artsakh. Artsakh has never been part to independent Azerbaijan, and therefore the attempts of its annexation to that particular state cannot be justified,” said Sarkisian.
“All of these lead us to believe that the exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Artsakh is of existential significance. In this regard, I convey the consolidated view of Armenia and Artsakh as well as the one shared by Armenians from all over the globe. I bring this message from Yerevan, where right now Armenia-Diaspora conference is taking place,” announced Sarkisian.
“Meanwhile, everyone should be aware that the Nagorno Karabakh issue is a human rights issue. It can be resolved exclusively through one of the fundamental and inalienable human rights – the people’s right to self-determination,” said Sarkisian.
“At the end of the day, whatever option for the conflict resolution we arrive at, the Republic of Artsakh should not enjoy a status and liberty that might be inferior to the one it enjoys today. Azerbaijan shall recognize and respect the right of the people of Artsakh to decide its own future through a free expression of will. All available international and domestic mechanisms should guarantee the security of the Armenian population of Artsakh,” added Sarkisian who lamented that the lack of international recognition of Artsakh is complicating the already tense situation in the region.