YEREVAN, JANUARY 21, ARMENPRESS. The issue of Artsakh will be a priority in the activities of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) in 2021.
Communication and PR manager at the EAFJD Harut Shirinian told Armenpress that the issue of the Armenian prisoners of war will be under their focus, adding that they will continue sending humanitarian aid to Armenia and Artsakh, will urge the EU to impose tough sanctions on Azerbaijan and Turkey and will continue to raise the issues of refugees, the war crimes. The EAFJD highlights the need of solving the issue of the status of Artsakh in the OSCE Minsk Group format, by respecting the Artsakh people’s right to self-determination.
“The evidence shows that all these further complicated the solution of the Artsakh conflict. Azerbaijan’s behavior is condemnable, we see that in fact only the Armenian side fulfills the point of the November 9 trilateral statement relating to the return of POWs. But Azerbaijan doesn’t fulfill it. We think that the January 11 statement was signed without any understanding, in case when we had no progress over the issue of POWs”, he said, stressing the need for active works to be carried out by the EU, France as a Co-Chair country, as well as human rights organizations. Harut Shirinian said in order to boost these works they are cooperating with the Offices of Ombudsmen of Armenia and Artsakh in order to send respective notes to the European political representatives, international organizations so that they will be more engaged on the issue.
“It’s time to be more active, make all efforts in the European Union so that the latter will play its role in the protection of human rights”, he said.
The EAFJD also condemns Azerbaijan’s actions aimed at damaging the Armenian cultural heritage in Artsakh. Shirinian said this issue should be brought to the agenda of the OSCE MG Co-Chairs and actions must be taken for the representatives of UNESCO, respective structures to have a concrete status to control the preservation process of the Armenian cultural heritage in the territories which have come under the Azerbaijani control.
Another important initiative of the EAFJD is the organization of the visit of European figures, lawmakers and journalists to Armenia and Artsakh. This initiative has been done both before and during the recent war. Mr. Shirinian stated that this initiative will continue as a visit of European lawmakers to Armenia and Artsakh is expected in February. The purpose of the visit is for the Europeans to see clearly what has happened.
Interview by Anna Gziryan
Editing and Translating by Aneta Harutyunyan