We, the people of Armenia are calling on the peoples of Europe, members of the European Parliament and the EU’s high Representative to support the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh (Known as Artsakh in Armenian) and to take a firm stance against the flagrant violations perpetrated by the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
On September 27th 2020 at 7:10 am local time Azerbaijan aided and assisted by Turkey launched a massive pre-planned attack against Artsakh and its people along the entire line of contact, stretching from the north to the south of the border.
Since then, Azerbaijan and Turkey, working hand in hand have committed a number of very serious atrocities and violations of international law by engaging in the following acts:
1) Attacking civilians by shelling villages both in Artsakh and Armenia during a global pandemic;
2) Deploying thousands of Syrian rebel fighters/mercenaries to assist the Azerbaijani armed forces against Armenia and Artsakh and in order to further aggravate the situation along the line of contact; and
3) Violating the sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia by encroaching on its airspace and shooting down an Armenian fighter jet through the use of a Turkish F-16 fighter plane.
The list of these grievous violations grows by the hour since civilians are still being targeted indiscriminately. This entirely unprovoked attack has resulted in the death of over a hundred military servicemen and servicewomen of Armenia and Artsakh, most of whom are under the age of twenty, as well as in the death of several innocent civilians, including children.
In addition to spreading death and destruction indiscriminately, Turkey and Azerbaijan have embarked on a massive and well-planned disinformation campaign, blocking the entry of foreign journalists into Azerbaijan and refusing to respond to calls for a ceasefire by the international community. Meanwhile, Turkey’s direct involvement as an aggressor against Armenia and Artsakh has been widely reported and documented.
Mr. Ilham Aliev (President of Azerbaijan) and Mr. Recep Tayib Erdogan (President of Turkey) are actively violating a number of international laws including Article 5 of The International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries*.
We call on the peoples of Europe, Members of the European Parliament and the Office of the High Representative for the EU to take real and decisive action against the sponsorship of terrorism and use of mercenaries adopted by the Governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan. The cost of staying silent on those vital issues will be the death of innocent civilians and bringing back the trauma suffered during the genocide of the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1915.
Furthermore, the stability of the entire South Caucasus is being put into jeopardy through the actions of Mr. Aliev and Mr. Erdogan. Immediate action is urgently needed.
Imposing real restrictions and sanctions on Azerbaijan and Turkey is the only way to stop this egregious aggression and restore peace in the region. It is also the only way to ensure stability in the European Union’s Eastern Neighbourhood. We believe that exporting mercenaries from the Syrian war to the gates of Europe is a very dangerous precedent and needs to be addressed in the strictest manner.
As such, we are calling on the European Union to take decisive action against the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey represented by Mr. Aliev and Mr. Erdogan respectively by immediately imposing the following targeted sanctions in compliance with the Charter of the United Nations (UN) Chapter 7 and Articles 75 & 215 of the Treaty of the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union rules and regulations:
1) Restriction on goods and services: Prohibiting the import of goods originating in Turkey and Azerbaijan into the European Union and any direct or indirect financial assistance related to such goods; prohibiting technical assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services directly relating to the infrastructure in Turkey and Azerbaijan in the sectors of (1) transport, (2) telecommunications (3) energy and (4) the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources and restricting assistance to the tourism segments of the economies of Turkey and Azerbaijan.
2) Financial restrictions: Banning the creation of joint ventures with entities registered for business in Turkey and Azerbaijan; prohibiting financing of entities in Turkey and Azerbaijan; prohibiting the acquisition or extension of real estates in Turkey and Azerbaijan.
3) Restrictions on entry (travel ban) and asset freezes for:
- Officials working for the Ministry of Internal and External Affairs of Turkey and Azerbaijan and their immediate families;
- Military personnel of Turkey and Azerbaijan
- All members of the Turkish and Azeri parliaments
- All other ministers and those holding public office in Turkey and Azerbaijan and
- The heads of regional administrations, districts and cities, including the deputy heads of Executive committees.
4) Bans on arms exports/sales: prohibit the export and/or the sale of arms and any other weaponry to the Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The people of Artsakh have been holding fair and democratic elections since declaring their independence in 1991 and have the right to life as granted by Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Their right for self-determination should also be guaranteed as provided by Article 1 of the United Nations Charter. On the other hand, Azerbaijan is ruled by an autocratic regime where power is passed from father to son.
Finally, we whole heartedly urge you to help save the people of Artsakh and Armenia, to restore peace in the Caucasus region and to help ensure that state-sponsored terrorism and the use of mercenaries is not proliferated around Europe and the world. We sincerely hope that the European Union will as ever stand for its values and moral principles in the face of authoritarianism and terrorism.