Humanitarian issues cannot be linked to political recognition.
Artsakh FM: Protection of Artsakh population’s rights cannot be conditioned by its recognition
STEPANAKERT, FEBRUARY 8, ARTSAKHPRESS: The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic, David Babayan, stated this in an interview with Armenian NEWS.am.
The interview is presented below:
Mr. Babayan, what is the situation in foreign policy? And what are the tasks facing the Republic?
What Artsakh and the Armenian people had to go through, of course, cannot but affect the foreign policy of our country and make some adjustments in its implementation. It can be said that, despite the historical blows and the irreplaceable human and territorial losses, a number of traditional issues in foreign policy have remained unchanged. This is the final peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, the international recognition of the Artsakh Republic, the development of bilateral relations. Naturally, the further strengthening of intra-Armenian ties has remained unshakable. However, the current situation also dictates a number of important tactical changes. First of all, foreign policy must be very flexible. Moreover, in fact, diplomats should not only be people directly involved in foreign policy, but also many government agencies; this is the imperative of the time. All steps should be considered a few steps ahead, PR, emotions and toasts should be minimized. Naturally, the main task today is to preserve Artsakh's subjectivity, including geopolitical. And the geopolitical significance of Artsakh has remained even in this situation, as the Transcaucasian region, the geopolitical balance of power in it is one thing with us, it is completely different without us. Moreover, the disappearance of Artsakh will become a detonator of tectonic explosions in the vast areas of the Near Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Volga region, Eastern Europe, and so on. These are the most important peculiarities of the situation. As for the spread of information on social media about the dissolution of the Artsakh Foreign Ministry, these reports do not correspond to reality. In any case, we do not have such information. By the way, the top leadership of Artsakh commented on these reports, noting that they did not correspond to reality. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working as before. There is a little more work now. We do not advertise our work, and rightly so. The field of work is large and the amount of work is also large.
There were publications in the media and social media about the problems related to entering Artsakh. Explain what it is about.
A new monitoring system is being introduced to prevent terrorists from entering the republic. We are improving the system of issuing visas, and there are indeed technical problems. We apologize for the inconvenience. All the issues will be completely resolved in a few days.
Let me clarify. The publications were that from now on Stepanakert will coordinate entry permits with Baku. Is that right?
There is no agreement with Baku, and there cannot be. The system does not assume an agreement with Baku to enter the territory of the Artsakh Republic. In this context, there can be no dependence on Azerbaijan.
There has been a lot of talk about protecting the rights of citizens of unrecognized countries. How are things going in that regard?
As far as the humanitarian sphere is concerned, the status should not matter at all. What happens if the state is not recognized, then its people can be subjected to genocide, and then saying that the state is not recognized? This is how one can treat any state, withdraw recognition, organize genocide, and then say that it is an unrecognized state. Such political discrimination is unacceptable, as being recognized and humanitarian issues are not related. The justification of genocide against the people or their cultural heritage cannot be conditioned by the lack of recognition; this is a gross violation of humanitarian law, morality, and ethics.
There is talk of the need to protect the Armenian cultural heritage in the territories controlled by Azerbaijan, but in fact ... Azerbaijan stubbornly refuses to allow the visit of UNESCO representatives.
This is also a very serious issue. [Russian] peacekeepers play a very important role here. It is due to the efforts of Russia and President Putin that the Dadivank [monastic] complex was not in fact destroyed by Azerbaijan. But there are many [Armenian] monuments, churches, and cross-stones that are being ruthlessly destroyed by the Azerbaijani side, and we cannot have some bearing on it in any way. It is therefore important that the international community be involved so that the responsibility does not rest solely on the peacekeepers or on one side; in this case, on Russia. After all, cultural heritage is a world treasure. This should be done by international organizations; in this case, by the UN which, according to the agreement, should also participate in the resolution of humanitarian issues in Karabakh.