Artsakhpress

Interview

The EU must force Turkey to respect the Convention of Geneva and withdraw from the conflict. Rafael Larreina

The Azerbaijani regime wants to cover up their internal problems, looking for an “external enemy” to fight with.

The EU must force Turkey to respect the Convention of Geneva and withdraw from the conflict. Rafael Larreina

The EU must force Turkey to respect the Convention of Geneva and withdraw from the conflict. Rafael Larreina

STEPANAKERT, NOVEMBER 1, ARTSAKHPRESS: Former vice president of the parliament of the Basque Country Rafael Larreina told ‘’Artsakhpress’’.

Rafael Larreina  in an interview with “Artsakhpress” touched upon the possible ways of settling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the possible restoration of the trilateral negotiation framework, and a number of other issues.

The interview with Rafael Larreina is presented below:

Mr Larreina, do you think that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan can be settled as long as the current Azerbaijani regime is in power?

 Non-democratic regimes always use violence. In some cases they do it against their own democratic citizens, and in other cases against citizens of other countries. The reality is that the current authoritarian regime in power in Azerbaijan is characterized by persecuting journalists in their own country, and by corrupting European politicians. Besides, through the war against Artsakh, the regime wants to cover up their internal problems, looking for an “external enemy” to fight with. The Aliyev regime does not care about the lives of the young Azeris that it sends to die in the war and neither those of the young Armenians. Aliyev is only concerned with maintaining his power and the status of his family. In a democratic regime that respects human rights, freedom of the press and of opinion, and the will of the citizenry expressed democratically and peacefully, there is no room for violent conflict. Political conflicts are resolved through dialogue, negotiation and, in the end, respecting the will of the citizens expressed at the ballot box. Let us hope that Azeri citizens put an end to the current regime and opt for a democratic regime that is committed to peace.

 The third Artsakh war has once again proved that in case of such high level of hatred expressed by the enemy, it is impossible for the peoples of Azerbaijan and Artsakh to live side by side. In your opinion, is it possible that the war unleashed by Azerbaijan does not logically contradict the statements of the leader of that country?

 Hatred is usually aroused by the political leaders of the countries and governments, who seek to focus on an external "enemy" the anger that their own actions provoke in they own citizens. With a democratic government that exercises the pedagogical work of respect for all human rights included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -including articles 15 and 21-, hatred has few opportunities to flourish. Aliyev, as an autocrat, contradicts his words with his deeds when he promotes xenophobic demonstrations in Azerbaijan and in various places in Europe. Besides, he is responsible for war crimes that are taking place in this war conflict by violating the norms of the Convention of Geneva. For example, he attacks civilian targets, destroys villages and towns without reason, and uses prohibited war material, such as cluster bombs or chemical weapons and phosphorus. War crimes for which he should answer to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
 In your opinion, in the current realities, what conditions can lead to the restoration of the full trilateral (Armenia-Azerbaijan-Nagorno Karabakh) negotiation format?

 First, the states that co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the United States - with the other European states that are included in it - Germany, Italy, Sweden and Finland - should force Azerbaijan to end armed activity, with measures similar to those that have been imposed internationally on other governments, as in the case of Iran in the past. Along with these measures, the international community must officialy recognize the undeniable reality of the Republic of Artsakh. The institutions of Europe must stop looking the other way, and value more the lives lost in the conflict and the rights of the people, than the economic interests linked to the gas of Azerbaijan. They should recognize the right of the people of Arsakh to decide democratically their own future.

Turkey is trying to get involved in the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict, using its full potential in this war. In your opinion, under what influence will Turkey withdraw from the conflict?

 Turkey has become a destabilizing agent in the eastern Mediterranean and at the gateway to Europe, which is Armenia. It generates conflicts against Greece in the Aegean, in Libya, in Syria, Iraq, and Kurdistan against the Kurdish People, and against the Armenian People in Artsakh. The European Union must be faithful to its founding democratic and humanitarian principles, refusing to accept Turkey's blackmail, which threatens it not to contain the passage of refugees into Europe. The EU must force Turkey through diplomatic channels and economic pressure to respect the Convention of Geneva and withdraw from the conflict. Europe must be consistent with its roots, and prioritize human rights instead of economic interests. It should act in solidarity in the face of international humanitarian emergencies and actively commit itself so that the genocide of the European Armenian people does not take place again one hundred years later.

                                                                                                                Interview by Ani Avanesyan


     

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