Sajjad Karim Co-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Association Committees, has issued the following statement:
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General has issued three international arrest warrants, this week, against MEPs Eleni Theocharous, Frank Engel and Jaromir Štětina for having visited Nagorno Karabakh and having, through their behaviour, supported the self-proclaimed local statehood. On 20 February, the MEPs named above carried out “observations” of a process organised locally in Nagorno Karabakh.
No official European Parliament observation mission has been organized in Nagorno Karabakh. Any impression given contrary to this is therefore without merit and completely unfounded.
Whilst MEPs are free to visit areas of their choosing and promote their individual beliefs. At the same time the MEPs should responsibly pay attention to the obvious fragility of the ceasefire and the need to support the political mediation processes in Nagorno-Karabakh and be clear of their unofficial individual status for all such visits.
The issuing of an international arrest order is unwelcome, unhelpful and undesirable, it also exaggerates the importance to be attached to this individual MEPs visit.
What is needed is the re-invigoration of the Minsk Group process and a political mediation to take the peoples living in the area, and the states concerned, from the current, too long, protracted conflict to stable peace, economic revitalisation and decent living conditions. This should be the drive of our political activity, when we conduct it openly and transparently via the official bodies of the EP.
We look forward to all three named MEPs declaring the basis of this visit as per declaration requirements for all MEPs.