The Western Azerbaijan Community responded to the biased and untrue statement of Markus Ritter, the head of the Mission of the European Union in Armenia, press service of the Community told APA.
The Statement reads: "Markus Ritter, the head of the Mission of the European Union in Armenia, made a statement these days, in which he spoke of preventing an imaginary attack by Azerbaijan on Armenia. Ritter thus tried to portray Armenia as a victim, whose recent record is full of military aggression, occupation against another State, ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijanis, and other crimes against humanity, and which continues its malfeasance against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and to highlight Azerbaijan in a negative tone, who is the victim of all these crimes of Armenia.
We would like to remind Ritter that the mission sent by the European Union with the mandate of human rights has an important and tangible task regarding the rights of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia. Almost all settlements located in the border zone where the EU mission is deployed are places where Azerbaijanis used to live and were subjected to ethnic cleansing. We are confident that the mission sees destroyed Azerbaijani cemeteries and cultural heritage in those villages every day.
In this case, it is regrettable that the head of the mission, issued a defamatory and provocative statement instead of dealing with his own mandate, i.e. addressing the human rights violations standing before his eyes.
We urge the mission to do its job and, and as requested in our letter to the President of the Council of the European Union, Charles Michel, carry out the following:
- contribute to human security, inter alia safe return of ethnic Azerbaijanis, who were forced to flee their homes in Armenia;
- gather information on the impact of the conflict on the rights of ethnic Azerbaijanis, who were forced to flee their homes in Armenia, inter alia by compiling reports on the state of their property and cultural heritage;
- devise and implement CBMs, including but not limited to enabling the expelled Azerbaijani inhabitants of Armenia to visit their homes, cemeteries, sacred places and cultural heritage on the territory of this country;
- elaborate and implement together with the Community appropriate programs relating to the international humanitarian law and human rights, protection of civilians, and provisions of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security, UNSCR 2250 (2015) on Youth, Peace and Security and UNSCR 1612 (2005) on Children and Armed Conflict;
We are of the view the EU, including its mission in Armenia, should – with their impartial and comprehensive efforts in the field of human rights- facilitate the respect for the rights of Azerbaijani expellees from Armenia, and thereby help attaining the lasting peace".