Armenpress: The issue of forced displacement of NK people, Azerbaijani aggression raised at PABSEC meeting


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 19, ARMENPRESS. On 19 October , the 61st Meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) Economic, Commercial and Financial Affairs Committee was held in Yerevan, the Armenian Parliament's press service said in a readout.

The Meeting was attended by delegates from Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine.

 The topic Strengthening Parliamentary Cooperation in the Field of Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Assistance in the BSEC Region was at the core of the discussions. 

The meeting was chaired by the Member of the RA NA Delegation to PABSEC Sergey Bagratyan, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the abovementioned Committee .

Welcoming the guests, the RA NA Vice President touched upon the unblocking of the road, stressing that Armenia can become crossroads, connecting East with the West, stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean North with South.

“In Armenia we called this project Crossroads of Peace. I hope that the member countries would like to be part of this Crossroads of Peace and have their contribution to its establishment and development. Unblocking the roads is very important for the Republic of Armenia, because our country has been under blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey for 30 years,” the NA Vice President underlined.

The RA NA Vice President Hakob Arshakyan underscored that the National Assembly of Armenia is interested in strengthening cooperation within the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly. He mentioned with regret the fact that we continue to clash with security serious challenges in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation region.

In this context the NA Vice President reminded about illegal blockade of Lachin Corridor , after the inhumane siege of the peaceful Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan unleashed another large-scale military aggression against those people on September 19. As a result, there have been hundreds of killed and wounded, t he whole population of NagornoKarabakh (more than 100000 people) was forcibly displaced and fled to Armenia.

It is extremely sad, that despite of decisions of the International Court of Justice, resolutions of the European Parliament, PACE and the parliaments of individual countries, appeals of executive bodies, the international community, we all were unable to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Azerbaijani actions are not confined to Nagorno Karabakh but extend to the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia: In 2021 and then in September 2022, Azerbaijan launched another unprovoked military aggression along Armenia's eastern and southeastern borders, invading and occupying sovereign Armenian territories, some of which remain under Azerbaijan's illegal control. Azerbaijan’s approach is to impose its preferred solutions on Armenia through force ,” the NA Vice President recorded.

According to him, for over three years Azerbaijan has refused to return Armenian prisoners of war and other civilians. To conviction of the NA Deputy Speaker, all these aggressive actions of Azerbaijan endanger the prospect of peace and stability in the region. The situation created by the use of force and aggression against Armenia cannot become a basis for stable and lasting peace.

Touching upon the importance of the topic of the committee meeting, Hakob Arshakyan noted that the issue of prevention of the threat of natural disasters and provision of emergency assistance is more than relevant for the Black Sea region. This is evidenced by the devastating earthquake that took place in Turkey in February of this year, as well as the forest fires and water disasters that some countries of the Black Sea region faced. In this context he underlined that the Republic of Armenia did not remain aloof in sending a rescue team and humanitarian cargo to Turkey.

In his welcoming speech, the PABSEC Vice-President, the Head of the RA NA Delegation to the structure, the Deputy Chair of the NA Standing Committee on Economic Affairs Babken Tunyan also referred to the serious security challenges that our country is facing. The Head of the Armenian delegation reminded about the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor and the irreversible consequences of another large-scale aggression of Azerbaijan, the policy of ethnic cleansing. He underlined that the whole population of Nagorno-Karabakh was forcibly displaced and fled to Armenia, adding that Armenia faced an emergency situation in accepting and providing asylum to our compatriots. Babken Tunyan described this situation as a humanitarian disaster. To his assessment, the belligerent rhetoric and destructive approach of one member state of the organization towards another pose security threat to the entire region, undermining every attempt to normalize relations.  Despite the difficulties and challenges, Armenia remains committed to promote the efforts to establish peace in the region,  the MP underscored.

Touching upon the topic under discussion, Babken Tunyan highlighted the importance to strengthen the parliamentary cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction and emergency relief and the enhancement of the legal framework for effective assistance and risk management.

As our region is often facing various natural and man-made disasters, the prevention and neutralization of consequences of which is often not possible only at the national level. I am sure that the deepening of cooperation at the regional level in this area can be very effective,  the RA NA representative stated.

The participants of the meeting were welcomed by the Deputy Secretary General in Charge of Organisational Matters of the PABSEC Miltiadis Makrygiannis and the Head of the PABSEC Serbian Delegation, the PABSEC Vice-President Igor Becic.

Since there was no quorum at the meeting, discussions were organized, but the decisions will be made during the General Assembly to be held in the near future. Items on the agenda were discussed, regional issues were touched upon.

The participants of the meeting exchanged ideas on the draft of the report Strengthening Parliamentary Cooperation in the Field of Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Assistance in the BSEC Region. The threats to people's lives and safety due to natural and man-made disasters and the necessity to prevent them and the importance of the joint struggle of the PABSEC member states against them were addressed. It was noted that the PABSEC should be able to ensure legal bases for applying stable and complex mechanisms of struggle in this area. The features of the national legislations in this field were presented, the importance of the methods of combating disasters in war situations was touched open .

The member of the RA NA D elegation to the PABSEC, the Chair of the NA Standing Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary Affairs Gevorg Papoyan emphasized the response of the PABSEC states in emergency situations, assessment of capacities and relating t o them. The MP presented in detail the steps implemented in this field in our country both at the legislative level and within the framework of the Government's activity programme. To his assessment, due to geographical and climatic conditions, Armenia is exposed to many risks, there are also technological factories, the safety of which is important as well. The RA NA deputy referred to the legislative regulations of the sector, the actions arising from the Government's programme for 2021-2026, highlighted the steps taken in the direction of preventing man-made disasters.

 It is important for us to be a participant in prevention and elimination of the consequences both at the international and regional level. The last example in this regard was the earthquake that happened in Türkiye and Syria, in which Armenia took part to the maximum extent as a supporting country in the elimination of the consequences. The aim of all the states is one, to prevent not only through criteria, but also through raising people' s awareness,  Gevorg Papoyan mentioned.

Other items on the agenda were discussed, information was presented about the activity of the organization of the PABSEC. The next Committee meeting is designed to be held in Kyiv, ahead of the plenary meeting.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS