European Parliament slams Turkey's destabilizing role in Karabakh

European Parliament slams Turkey's destabilizing role in Karabakh

PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Parliament has "strongly condemned" the destabilizing role of Turkey in the South Caucasus region and stressed that a lasting settlement for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still remains to be found.

The Parliament on Wednesday, January 20 published the texts of a series of resolutions on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy – annual report 2020 and on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy annual report 2020 on January 20.

In Article 24, the Parliament took good note of the trilateral statement and the ceasefire in Karabakh but said it "regrets that changes to the status quo were made through military force, rather than peaceful negotiations; strongly condemns the killing of civilians and destruction of civilian facilities and places of worship, condemns the reported use of cluster munitions in the conflict; urges both Armenia and Azerbaijan to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which comprehensively bans their use, without further delay; stresses that a lasting settlement still remains to be found and that the process of achieving peace and determining the region’s future legal status should be led by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and founded on the group’s Basic Principles; highlights the urgent need to ensure that humanitarian assistance can reach those in need, that the security of the Armenian population and its cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh is ensured, and that internally displaced persons and refugees are allowed to return to their former places of residence; calls for all allegations of war crimes to be duly investigated and those responsible to be brought to justice; calls on the EU to be more meaningfully involved in the settlement of the conflict and not to leave the fate of the region in the hands of other powers."

Article 38 said the EP "strongly condemns the destabilizing role of Turkey which further undermines the fragile stability in the whole of the South Caucasus region; calls on Turkey to refrain from any interference in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including offering military support to Azerbaijan, and to desist from its destabilizing actions and actively promote peace; condemns, furthermore, the transfer of foreign terrorist fighters by Turkey from Syria and elsewhere to Nagorno-Karabakh, as confirmed by international actors, including the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries; regrets its willingness to destabilize the OSCE Minsk Group as it pursues ambitions of playing a more decisive role in the conflict."

The Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan commented on the European Parliament's assessments, saying that the Armenian side welcome's the EP's belief that crimes committed by Turkey and Azerbaijan should not remain unpunished.

"There are a number of important provisions enshrined in the report-resolutions adopted by the European Parliament, which are related to the Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh and Turkey's involvement in it, the committed war crimes, as well as the steps to be undertaken to eliminate the consequences of the aggression, especially to address humanitarian issues," Naghdalyan told Armenpress.

"We particularly emphasize that the European Parliament not only condemned the war crimes, including the targeting of civilian population and infrastructure, places of worship, but also stressed that these crimes should not remain unpunished.

We agree with the European Parliament's call for Turkey to refrain from any intervention in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including offering military support to Azerbaijan, and to desist from its destabilizing actions. In this context, it is especially important that the European Parliament has also condemned the fact that Turkey transferred foreign terrorist fighters from Syria and elsewhere to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone."

Naghdalyan specifically emphasized the position of the European Parliament on humanitarian issues, particularly regarding the immediate repatriation of prisoners of war

"It should be noted that the issues of security of the people of Artsakh, protection of historical-cultural and religious heritage were properly highlighted in the resolution. It is crucial that the European Parliament expressed its position of providing unhindered humanitarian assistance to Artsakh," she said.

"We emphasize the importance of the efforts of international community, in the form of such resolutions, to contribute to the elimination of the causes and consequences of the war, which in accordance to the resolution, supposes the lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the determination of the future legal status of Artsakh on the basis of the Basic Principles proposed by the Co-Chairs. As it was once again emphasized by this respective international body, right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination and security is at the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."

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