Lithuania-Artsakh Parliamentary Friendship Group established

On February 26 a conference titled “Lithuania and Armenia: a look to the recent past” dedicated to the 25 anniversary of the democratic movements in Armenia and Lithuania and the National liberation struggle of the Armenians of Artsakh took place in Seimas, Parliament of Lithuania.

The participants also honored the memory of the victims of the Sumgait massacre.

Members of the Lithuanian legislative body, representatives of political, social and academic circles, including the founding members of the Lithuanian movement of “Sajudis” as well as members of the Armenian community of Lithuania participated at the conference.

Minister of Foreign affairs Karen Mirzoyan was invited as a special guest of the conference and delivered a speech where he noted that the movements of the national revival that united the Armenian and Lithuanian peoples around common ideals and principles of freedom and democracy have resulted in independence. “In  Lithuanian case the independence gave its people a chance to restore its statehood and fully integrate into the international community, the European Union,” stated Karen Mirzoyan, stressing that the people of Artsakh not only had to assert its right to freedom and independence  but also to struggle for its survival and right to live on the land of its ancestors.

The minister reminded that Azerbaijan from the very beginning rejected dialogue and search for political settlement of the issue, resorting to the threats and terror, in response to the peaceful and lawful demands of the people of the Nagorno Karabakh.   “But our people withstood and passed the test of the imposed war. In May 1994 the ceasefire agreement was signed which gave us opportunity of peaceful life and building of an independent statehood”, – said Karen Mirzoyan.

He stressed that NKR is committed to the democratic way of state building, which guarantees all the fundamental human rights and freedoms. Even though Nagorno Karabakh is an unrecognized state and may not undertake commitments to observe the universal democratic standards before international organizations, but it is steadfast in following them. “Moreover the  human rights record in our republic is significantly higher than in many recognized states, which was reflected in the last Freedom House report”, – the minister noted. He expressed regret that the unrecognized status of the NKR is a barrier for its full involvement in the international developments that in turn limits the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms of its citizens.

Dwelling upon the issue of Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict settlement, the minister reiterated the the NKR’s commitment to the peaceful settlement of all disputable issues with Azerbaijan. At the same time he noted with regret that the official Baku does not only reject all the proposals of the mediators but also suppresses any even weak initiatives towards reconciliation, as well as  implants cult of hatred towards Armenians and anything Armenian and propagates xenophobia, intolerance and militaristic moods.

Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia Vahan Hovhannesyan and Armenian Ambassador to Lithuania Ara Ayvazyan  addressed the conference and noted the irreversibility of the democratic processes started 25 years ago, emphasizing the importance of the ideas and the spirit  in the peaceful settlement of conflicts. Members of Seimas Dangutė Mikutienė, Algis Kašėta, Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė  also delivered speeches and mentioned the importance of the imperative of staying committed to the ideas of the democratic movements.  Lithuanian MP Dalia Kuodyte read a declaration on establishing in the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Friendship Group with the Republic of Artsakh (the Nagorno Karabakh Republic). The original of the signed document was officially handed in to NKR Foreign Minister  Karen Mirzoyan. Nine members of different fractions of the Lithuanian Seimas joined the initiative.

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