Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 January

European Parliament will ratify Armenia-EU Agreement next month – EAFJD chairman

YEREVAN, JUNE 27, ARMENPRESS. The trust towards Armenia by the European Union has reached a new level, Gaspar Karapetian - chairman of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD), said in an interview to ARMENPRESS.

-Mr. Karapetian, how the recent political changes in Armenia are perceived by the European and the international community in general? What are the moods among political, public circles?

-The recent events, developments in Armenia were a progress of people’s values. The reactions of Europe and the international community in general were, of course, positive and welcoming. During numerous meetings, closed-door discussions Europe has repeatedly touched upon the developments in Armenia, gave a positive assessment and stated that the democratic, human rights values are respected in Armenia and more developed civil society is being formed. This fact is welcomed as the EU’s trust towards Armenia reached a new level for the implementation of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), and the Agreement must be ratified by the European Parliament within the next month. Moreover, recently the European Commission and earlier the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament have made a quite positive statement on the new situation in Armenia.

-Mr. Karapetian, in the recent period the Artsakh authorities state that movements of the Azerbaijani military equipment are taking place in the frontline. Is there a concern in terms of the escalation of the situation? In your opinion, what is the reason of Azerbaijan’s such activeness at this stage?

-Yes, in the recent period there are many statements on Azerbaijan’s activeness, but it doesn’t mean that accumulations of the military equipment didn’t happen during the past months, which requires a great vigilance. Today Azerbaijan’s activeness is quite often linked with the recent events in Armenia. During that days Azerbaijan perhaps wanted to see the loss of the unity of the Armenian people, who were mainly engaged in domestic problems and would forget about the external threat. But the Armenian people, in particular, the Armenian Army proved the contrary: by feeling the seriousness of the moment, they never yielded their positions. Azerbaijan needs to understand that in such situation when Armenia took one more step towards democracy, the Armenian Army is more willing in its mission.

-Did the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy voice issues over Azerbaijan’s activeness in different European circles?

-As the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy, we not only voice about Azerbaijan’s activeness for different occasions, but also provide important information about the ongoing ceasefire violations in the line of contact and the human rights violations in Azerbaijan.

-In your opinion, what steps should the international community, the mediators take to prevent the escalation of the situation?

-The international community, as during the April war, is well informed about the situation, Azerbaijan’s intentions since Azerbaijan itself makes its actions known to the external field. The European circles, of course, support the principles adopted by the OSCE Minsk Group which are also reflected in the Armenia-EU Agreement. The mediator side should take measures to apply investigative mechanisms for the situation in the border.

Today the new leadership of Armenia makes statements on bringing Artsakh to the negotiation field which is welcomed by the EAFJD, being considered as of the key preconditions for the peaceful settlement of the Artsakh conflict. Taking into account this the recent visits of the OSCE Minsk Group to Armenia can put a base for the new quality of negotiations. Moreover, the European Union should officially take steps to send its representatives to Artsakh and get first-hand information.

-What are the upcoming programs of the EAFJD? Is the visit of the European lawmakers to Artsakh expected?

-One of the main program priorities of the EAFJD is to continue raising the Artsakh issue and the protection of the principle of the Artsakh people’s right to free self-determination among the European political circles. With its daily activities the Office contributes to deepening and developing the Armenia-EU ties, as well as provides support to the Armenian delegation these days in Brussels on the sidelines of the session of the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly.

We will continue to organize the visits of the European lawmakers and MEPs to Artsakh in coming months, by this contributing to the failure of Azerbaijan’s policy to keep Artsakh in isolation.

Interview by Anna Gziryan

Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan

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