Armenia watching world reaction heart-in-mouth

Mon 30 Oct 2017 09:22 GMT | 13:22 Local Time

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The so-called “NKR" set an open challenge to the international community, ignoring the fundamental principles of international law.

Azerbaijan, Georgia and many countries, as well as international organizations including UN, European Parliament, and European Commission reacted promptly to the situation in Spain related to Catalonian referendum.

As for Armenia, last week the pro-governmental news.am portal even published the news with an eloquent headline: "In the grip of the ‘territorial integrity complex’: Georgia condemned the Catalans". This news indicates that the Georgian government firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Spain in its internationally recognized borders and considers Catalonia as an integral part of Spain. At the same time, the news.am editorial board decided to criticize and added to the end of the news a sentence that "it is not specified whether the Georgian leadership intends to share with Madrid its many years of unsuccessful experience in restoring territorial integrity" (https://news.am/eng/news/418033. html).

Such an attitude of the Armenian press to the events in Catalonia is explained through the prism of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Now Armenia, just like during the referendum in Scotland, watches the reaction of the international community breathlessly in a hidden hope to find a precedent and like-minded people in the recognition of the separatist regime created in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan as an independent state.

And the open support of the Armenian separatists to their Catalan brothers was quite expected. Thus, the "Office of Information and Public Relations of ‘NKR's foreign ministry’", distributed a message in support of Catalonia. The text goes that "in accordance with a number of fundamental UN documents, the international community committed itself to exercise the right of nations to self-determination and to respect this right." 

"We consider it important that the resolution of the political crisis between Barcelona and Madrid was achieved exclusively by peaceful means, through dialogue. In this regard, it should be recalled that it was Azerbaijan's refusal to recognize the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination and use of forceful methods by Baku for resolving political issues that transferred the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict into the military plane, " the message reads.

This statement was made in the spirit of the Armenian vision of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. For a certain community to gain independence through a referendum and be recognized by the international community, first of all, this expression of the will must comply with the constitution of the country and international law.

The self-proclaimed secession of Karabakh from Azerbaijan and the unilateral declaration of independence contradict both the right of nations to self-determination and the principle of territorial integrity. The "referendum" held by the Armenian separatists on December 10, 1991, had absolutely no legal basis, because by that time the USSR law of April 3, 1990, which the separatists tried to justify their "referendum” with, had already lost its effect. In addition, Azerbaijanis living in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh did not participate in this "referendum". There is no "people of Artsakh".  There are ethnic Armenians living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. This ethnicity has already used the principle of self-determination of nations by creating its own state - the Republic of Armenia.

We should not forget that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began with the demand of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh to secede from the Azerbaijan SSR and join the Armenian SSR. Later, the idea of "the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination" was put forward to cover Armenia’s aspirations to annex the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

However, the population of Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized by the international community not only as Armenian. The international community guarantees the right of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh expelled as a result of ethnic cleansing to return to their native lands and to take direct part in the determination of the future territorial status.

In November 1991, the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijan SSR liquidated the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region. Two days after this decision, the State Council of the USSR abolished this decision of the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijani SSR and restored the former constitutional status of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region in the form of an autonomous region within Azerbaijan. By this decision, in fact, the State Council of the Soviet Union invalidated all previous decisions and declarations, including the proclamation of the ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’ on September 2, 1991, and confirmed the presence of this region within Azerbaijan. Thus, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nagorno-Karabakh was part of Azerbaijan and is still considered to be Azerbaijani territory according to international law. The unilateral actions of the Armenian separatists have no legal effect, which is proven by non-recognition of the "independence of the NKR" in the world, including Armenia itself.

The events in Catalonia and the subsequent reaction of the international community once again confirm that the actions of Armenian separatists to create a quasi-state on the territory of Azerbaijan were contrary to the principles of international law. The events taking place in Catalonia today are an internal affair of Spain. But unsuccessfully cherishing the hope for world recognition of its "independence”, the so-called “NKR" threw an open challenge to the international community, ignoring the fundamental principles of international law. Unfortunately, international organizations that reacted properly to the violation of international law in Catalonia have long been pretending that no similar events occurred in Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s. 

News.Az

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