A group of foreign NGOs issued statement on Armenia's blocking of reintegration of Armenian residents of Karabakh

A group of foreign NGOs issued statement on Armenia
# 01 August 2023 17:35 (UTC +04:00)

A number of civil society organizations issued a joint statement to draw the attention of the international community to the artificial barriers exerted by the Armenian government and remnants of illegal regime in pursuit of their political objectives, APA reports.

The statement reads:

"As a multinational country, Azerbaijan fosters an environment in its area where Armenians and other ethnic minorities peacefully live and work, enjoying equal rights. According to the Constitution of Azerbaijan, all citizens, regardless of their religious or ethnic background, are granted equal human rights. Azerbaijan will ensure the rights and security of Armenian residents in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in line with its Constitution and legislation.

A number of officials in Armenia is engaged in political manipulation and speculation on Lachin road issue which is functional for medical evacuation. This claim is refuted as entirely inaccurate.

First of all, the Lachin road is situated within the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan. As an exercise of its sovereign right, Azerbaijan established a checkpoint in Lachin on the state border, which is used by Armenian residents in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and Russian peacekeepers temporarily deployed in Azerbaijan. International Court of Justice, while rejecting Armenia’s request in its Order of July 6, once again has confirmed that Azerbaijan’s measure to establish a checkpoint on the border is a sovereign and legitimate decision.

The proposal by the Azerbaijani side to use Aghdam-Khankandi road to meet the needs of the Armenian residents of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan was highly appreciated by the international actors. Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council recently supported the usage of Aghdam-Khankandi road. International Committee of Red Cross is ready to use the road which is very accessible and convenient for humanitarian assistance. Aghdam-Khankandi road is fully operational for delivering all kinds of goods. But remnants of illegal regime take ordinary Armenians in Karabakh as hostage and refuse to use this road.

The humanitarian crisis claims, and actions of Armenia and remnants of illegal regime are merely a political display. The Armenia hinders the reintegration process by preventing Armenians in Karabakh from obtaining their daily needs through Azerbaijan government.

It is essential for the international community to recognize that Azerbaijan is not imposing a blockade; on the contrary, it is offering assistance. However, provocations of remnants of illegal regime means the denial of humanitarian aid.

It is Armenia who has imposed a blockade on the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan for over 30 years. This blockade prevents Nakhchivan from having a land connection with the rest of Azerbaijan, blocks the movement of people and goods. The ongoing blockade has significant repercussions for the population of Nakhchivan, affecting their economic activities, access to essential services, and freedom of movement within their own country.

The Armenian leadership and remnants of illegal regime exert pressure on the Armenian residents of the Karabakh region, exploiting local inhabitants as hostage to further their political objectives and prevent reintegration deliberately. For the purpose of reintegration, Azerbaijan actively engages in contacts with local Armenians. The special representative from Azerbaijan has been appointed to this end. However, the Armenian side has blocked the progress and refused to come to Baku to continue the contacts by putting irrelevant preconditions after the first meeting.

Azerbaijan has implemented successful projects involving qualified companies to address problems with water supply, transportation, and power supply in Karabakh. Following the War in 2020, Azerbaijan constructed a new, modern Lachin road used by local Armenians as well. The reintegration of Armenians living in Karabakh into Azerbaijan would further enhance their living standards.

It should be noted that Azerbaijanis were expelled from the territories of Azerbaijan where Russian peacekeepers are temporary deployed, such as Khojali, Khankandi, villages of Shusha, etc, thirty years ago. The return of Azerbaijani former internally displaced persons to Karabakh is clearly stipulated in Article 7 of the trilateral statement of 10 November 2020, which is frequently cited by Armenians. Azerbaijan will ensure the peaceful, dignified, and safe return of its former IDPs to their homeland and residence places.

We urge the Armenian government to cease their provocations, as they obstruct the reintegration of Armenian residents of Karabakh into Azerbaijan and pose a significant barrier to achieving peace and security in the region.

We appeal to international organizations to observe the realities on the ground, respond appropriately, and advocate for the process of reintegration of Armenians of Karabakh into Azerbaijan".

Signatures:

Erlina Burhan, Indonesia Professional Organiza Coalition, Indonesia
Ridhiwani Sadiki, Citizen Network for Rural Development, Kenya
Parvana Valiyeva, focal point of Regional Expert group on Migration and Health
Violet Wasonga, Nyando Social Justice, Kenya
Patsi Stillo, Partners in Health, USA
Charles Quist, Carepal Foundation, Ghana
Peter Owiti, Wote Youth Development Projects CBO, Kenya
Dr. Mohmad Husain, INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION HQ, India
Eliud Emeri, Turkana Bio Aloe Organization (TUBAE), Kenya
Zeeshan Ahmed, social activist, Pakistan
Hasim Abdul Halim, Department Health and Family welfare, ministry of Health, India
Peter Musyoka, Twene Mbee Networking and Development group, Kenya
Maryam Danesh, social activist, USA
Eliud Idoket, Consortium of Grassroots Organizations in Kenya (CGOK)
Fred Wanyonyi, REDO NGO Kenya

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