July 15, 2009
ANCA Chairman Denounces Minsk Group Pressure to Secure Unilateral Armenian Concessions in Karabagh Peace Talks
TAKE ACTION NOW: Urge Pres. Obama & the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to ensure NKR participation in the negotiations
Read the ANCA Chairman's letter to Pres. Obama and the pan-Armenian conference resolution
Read a timeline outlining Azerbaijan's threats against Armenia & NKR
Read an Op/Ed by NKR Permanent Representative to the U.S. Robert Avetisyan (RFE/RL July 14, 2009)
Hachikian Letter to Pres. Obama Calls for Direct Nagorno Karabagh Republic Participation in Peace Negotiations; Expresses Concern Regarding Madrid Principles as Basis for Ongoing Talks
WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian expressed “profound disappointment” today at the unreasonable pressure being applied by the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs, which could threaten the viability of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.
The concern was expressed in a July 14, 2009, letter to President Obama, where Hachikian noted that the Minsk Group’s “heavy handed” approach to secure unilateral and dangerous concessions by Armenians regarding the Nagorno Karabagh conflict would “imperil the security of Armenia, the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR) and the Armenian people; increase the prospects of renewed Azerbaijani aggression; and undermine the ability of the actual parties to this conflict to reach a truly lasting and durable peace.”
Hachikian went on to argue that the Nagorno Karabagh Republic’s participation in the peace process is fundamental to the success of the endeavor. “As a direct party to this conflict, the primary victim of Azerbaijan’s aggression, and a full stakeholder in the search for regional peace, the Nagorno Karabagh Republic must be a full and equal participant in all aspects of the peace process,” explained Hachikian. Similar concerns were addressed in letters sent to French Ambassador to the U.S. Pierre Vimont and Russian Federation Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The ANCA has also initiated a letter writing campaign to President Obama and the State Department as well as the Embassies of France and Russia in the U.S. encouraging Armenian Americans and human rights activists to express their thoughts to Minsk Group Co-Chair country leaders. Click here to view the ANCA Action Alert.
The effort reflects worldwide Armenian apprehension following a July 10 statement issued by U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nikolas Sarkozy and Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev calling on Armenia and Azerbaijan to “to resolve the few differences remaining between them” based on an updated version of the “Basic Principles” advanced by the co-chairs in the November 2007 Madrid Document. According to a White House fact sheet, those principles include:
-- return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control
-- an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance
-- a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh
-- future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will
-- the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence; and
-- international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation.
Click here to view the complete statement on the White House website.
Armenian President Serge Sargsyan and Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev are set to meet on Friday July 17th in Moscow.
Concerns about the Nagorno Karabagh peace process and ongoing Armenia-Turkey dialogue based on an undisclosed “roadmap” were presented at a pan-Armenian conference held at the Nagorno Karabagh Republic’s capital, Stepanakert, on July 9-10. Over 120 Armenian leaders from some 25 countries, representing a broad cross-section of the political, academic, religious, business and civil society leadership from Armenia, Nagorno Karabagh, and the Diaspora discussed the ongoing Karabagh negotiations and unanimously adopted a resolution urging Karabagh’s direct participation in the talks and calling for vigilance in the face of pressure to adopt a “hasty solution to the problem and Azerbaijan’s belligerent statements.”
Click here to view the full text of Hachikian’s letter to President Obama and the resolution from the pan-Armenian conference.
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July 15, 2009