The Western Azerbaijan Community has issued a statement over European Parliament’s resolutions of March 15 on the relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia. The statement in particular says: First of all, we would like to note that as a Community suffering from systematic violations of human rights on the part of Armenia, we follow international developments in the field of human rights and regional security very carefully and with particular sensitivity. The aforementioned resolutions, which dwell upon issues such as peace, security and human rights, are of direct interest to our Community, which represents the Azerbaijanis forcefully expelled by Armenia. As one of the main bodies of the European Union, the European Parliament has important responsibilities in the field of implementation of the provisions of the Union’s main documents on the promotion of the equality of people and the supremacy of human rights without any discrimination. The European Union has undertaken the mission of promoting human rights of its own free will and we welcome that in principle. However, we have to note with regret that the activity indicators of the European Parliament on the issue of human rights of the Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia are very low and even detrimental. Back in 1988, when Armenia was expelling Azerbaijanis en masse, the European Parliament adopted a resolution entitled ‘The situation in Soviet Armenia’, expressing support for Armenia’s territorial claims and turning a blind eye to the violation of human rights of the Azerbaijanis in this country. In the initial period, we believed that this was due to the lack of knowledge of European parliamentarians and the activities of pro-Armenian lobby organizations. However, it became clear afterwards that prejudice against Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijanis in the European Parliament is of systematic nature and even contains elements of hatred. The European Parliament has defended Armenia’s position on all issues that cause differences of opinion between Azerbaijan and Armenia, while in some cases its position has been even more radical that than of Armenia. Unfortunately, the European Parliament continued this harmful tradition with the resolutions it adopted on March 15, 2023. Authors of the resolution have given ample space to all of Armenia’s verified and unverified claims and turned a blind eye to the fact that not a single Azerbaijani remains in the territory of present-day Armenia, a country where Azerbaijanis constituted a majority in the recent past, to Armenia’s crimes against humanity, including the destruction of Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage and the changing of Azerbaijani place names. Their silence represents obvious prejudice. While the main cause of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is Armenia’s xenophobic and territorial expansion policy, as well as the fact that Armenia has expelled all Azerbaijanis from its territory, the resolutions make false claims about the causes of the conflict. While the resolutions demand an international peacekeeping mission and international guarantee mechanisms for the Armenians living in the territory of Azerbaijan, for some reason no such demands are put forward in relation to the Azerbaijani refugees who have to return to Armenia. The resolutions falsely state that Armenia is allegedly ready to welcome the fact-finding mission of UNESCO to assess the state of Azerbaijani cultural heritage in its territory. In the part of the resolution related to Armenia and entitled ‘Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms’, there is not a word about the human rights of the Azerbaijanis who are legal residents of this country and were expelled on the basis of ethnic discrimination. Such an approach to Armenia, which has turned itself into a mono-ethnic territory by means of ethnic cleansing, represents clear support for such discrimination. Just like the Armenian government, the resolution expresses an objection to the use of the term Western Azerbaijan. In this regard, we would like to emphasize that there are serious grounds for using this expression, considering the fact that until recently the Azerbaijanis accounted for a majority in that region and more than 95 percent of recorded place names and hydronyms were of Azerbaijani origin. In particular, since the Azerbaijanis, who are the legal residents of that place, were forced out of their homes through ethnic cleansing, it is the duty of the entire humanity to use that expression in order to condemn the crime against humanity committed against them. All this provides us with grounds to believe that the main concerns for the European Parliament are not human rights, international law or peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but the promotion of certain interests. We must note that we do acknowledge that any institution is at liberty to defend its interest at the international level. The European Parliament is no exception in this respect. However, we cannot agree to the European Parliament’s abuse of such noble values as human rights in an effort to advance Azerbaijan-phobic approaches of certain circles. We call on the European Parliament to give up its prejudiced approach and support a peaceful, safe and dignified return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia within the framework of verification and guarantee mechanisms and legally binding international agreements. For this purpose, we request that the European Parliament, as stated in our request to the President of the Council of the European Union, encourage the European Union’s mission in Armenia to implement the following on the basis of its mandate: To contribute to the safety of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia; To collect information on the impact of the conflict on the Azerbaijanis forcibly expelled from Armenia, including preparation of reports on the state of property and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijanis; To prepare and implement confidence-building measures for the Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia, including those that would enable them to visit their homes, cemeteries, holy places and cultural sites; Together with the Community, to prepare and implement relevant programs on the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions in relation to international humanitarian law, human rights, protection of civilians, including Resolution No. 1325 (2000) on Women, peace and security, Resolution No. 2250 (2015) on Youth, peace and security, Resolution No. 1612 (2005) on Children and armed conflicts. Finally, we as a Community express our readiness to participate in the joint efforts to investigate the truth for the sake of reconciliation as recommended in the resolution ‘On EU-Armenia relations’ (P9_TA (2023) 0081, 2021/2230 (INI)).
Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency