Azerbaijani aggression against Karabakh a violation of international humanitarian law: Samvel Farmanyan

“Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale military aggression against the people of Nagorno Karabakh, violating the international humanitarian law and committing war crimes,” member of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Samvel Farmanyan said at PACE plenary session in Strasbourg. The full speech is provided below:

“Almost two months have passed since the last part-session of the Assembly. And we discuss here what has been done in this period of time. Evidently our values have been brutally and cynically attacked, first in the very heart of Europe – bloody terror attacks in Brussels, and then on the southeastern shore of our continent – in Nagorno-Karabakh where Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale military aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh violating international humanitarian law and committing war crimes. Let me join the words of sympathy addressed to the families of all victims. I also join the voices of those hundreds of thousands of people who marched yesterday in Brussels and in different capitals of Europe and the globe since the bloody escalation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh calling for peace.

The progress report refers to one of the notorious discussions we had here in January. Let me recall, Chairman, that the voices against the controversial reports by Robert Walter and Milica Markovic in this very hemi-cycle were based on the tangible assumption that any attempt to approve groundless and one-sided resolutions or any selective application to the principles of international law will only damage the peace process and serve as smokescreen for the Azerbaijani autocratic leadership to resume large scale military actions undermining the peace process and threatening fragile stability in the entire region of South Caucasus. While raising concerns we had in mind such development of the events that happened afterwards and unfortunately, our concerns became to be a kind of bad prediction that cost hundreds of innocent lives from all sides of the conflict.

While considering this progress report, colleagues, we can’t jump over the efforts the permanent bodies of the Assembly have taken or rather mistaken regarding this tragedy. A repeatedly clear message was delivered to Azerbaijani leadership since the very birth of escalation that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement of the conflict and that war is not an option. Presidents of France, United States, Russia, heads of dozens of other countries and hundreds of foreign ministries, Secretary Generals of the UN, OSCE, CoE, high-level officials of EU, dozens of other international organizations joint their voice and reputation to deliver that unequivocal and uncompromising message to President Aliev to stop military aggression.

While increasingly strong and univocal message of the international community to Aliev was a window of hope for peace to avoid further escalation of the situation, irresponsible rhetoric of Mr. Agramunt, came to contradict our Assembly to the international community this time not by ignorance of excessive human rights violations in Azerbaijan but by his exceptionally dangerous wording clearly siding himself with Azerbaijan in that particularly fragile situation. Unfortunately, Mr. Agramunt’s statement came to once again confirm his impartiality as President of the Assembly and empowers media reports about his alleged engagement in Azerbaijani lobbying structures seriously damaging Assembly’s image in the eyes of millions of Europeans and all members of our House of Democracy.

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