Azerbaijani, Armenian human rights defenders address presidents and people of both countries

Azerbaijani, Armenian human rights defenders address presidents and people of both countries
# 06 December 2016 14:45 (UTC +04:00)

Baku – APA. Azerbaijani and Armenian human rights defenders have adopted a joint appeal to the presidents and people of both countries.

APA presents the appeal below:

We, representatives of Armenian and Azerbaijani people today have come together with the aim of discussing the main obstacles and ways of resolution of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which remains unresolved for more than 25 years. The conflict led to the death of tens of thousands of our citizens and caused for hundreds of thousands of people to become IDPs and refugees. Therefore, considering it as our civic obligation we are making this appeal to you.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union Armenia and Azerbaijan exercising their right to self-determination have become independent states. However, the civil interstate relations based on the principles of the international law and the Helsinki Final Act, which is commonly accepted in Europe, failed to prevail in the region of South Caucasus. The consequences of the bloody conflict between the two states still continue to prevent the establishment of the sustainable peace and stability in the region. It is impossible to express all horrors of war by only providing sheer statistics of moral and material damages inflicted upon to both countries regardless of ethnicity, age and sex by the flame of the conflict during the last decades. Nowadays, trenches and mined areas inherent to the scenario of II World War lie along the line of contact of armed forces and the internationally recognized borders of both countries. Young Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers in the trenches see each other through the optic scopes of sniper rifles. Perceptions of new generations growing in both countries about one another are only shaped by the realities of war and hardships that it brings about. The April events once again demonstrated that the resumption of war could lead to the catastrophic consequences. Unlike the 90s, further development of both countries’ military arsenal and ascension of the military threats to the level of ballistic missiles heralds about the horrifying extent of the risks of war. Otherwise, all the resources spent for military purposes could have been used for the welfare and prosperity of two nations.

Armenian and Azerbaijani people are tired of this conflict and do not want to face new losses over and over again. It is so naive to believe that apart from Armenian and Azerbaijani people someone else will be able to solve the conflict. Bearing in mind these, we call upon:

- To demonstrate wisdom and courage, not allow falling victim of the past; and look into the future and make lessons learned from the severe consequences of the conflict;

- To accelerate the substantive and result-oriented talks and put an end to the imitation of negotiations. The immediate resolution of the conflict will give impetus to the economic development of not only Nagorno-Karabakh region, but also Armenia and the region as a whole, and will contribute to the peace and cooperation between two countries. In this case, there will be no winners or losers, and it will only create win-win situation both for the people of Armenia and people of Azerbaijan.

- To change the current status-quo. It is considered unacceptable and un-sustainable by the Heads of State of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs;

- To eliminate the fact of occupation, which forms the fundamental basis of the current status-quo and ensure the withdrawal of the troops;

- To ensure a safe and dignified return of the IDPs to their native lands;

- To understand that today, Azerbaijan is a tolerant, multicultural and developing country, where 30 thousand citizens of Armenian ethnicity live in a free and independent environment and although the conflict they have never become the subject of discrimination. There are not any obstacles for Azerbaijani and Armenian communities to live again in safety and peace in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Therefore, ungrounded racist views on incompatibility of Armenians and Azerbaijanis and inability of both nations for peaceful coexistence should firmly be rejected;

- To consider seriously as potential compromise deal the recent proposal on establishment Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Republic within the boundaries Azerbaijan where all rights, as well as security of Armenian and Azerbaijani communities will be guaranteed;

- To establish civil relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan based on the resolutions and decisions of the United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe and other international organizations, especially the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and deriving from with the norms and principles of international law, provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, particularly the principles of respecting to each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders;

- Further use of this platform for the purposes of continuing the dialogue of civil societies aimed at contributing to the resolution of conflict.

On behalf of conference participants from the Armenian side, the appeal was signed by human rights defender Vage Aventian, chairman of Public Organization “National Liberation Movement” Vaan Martirosian and journalist, vice-president of human rights non-governmental organization “Meridian” Syusan Djaginian.

On behalf of conference participants from the Azerbaijani side, the document was signed Rovshan Rzayev, a member of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh, Kamil Safarov, professor of Baku State University, and Shalala Hasanova, chairwoman of Public Union “Support for the Development of Communication with Public”.

Nagorno Garabagh