YEREVAN (Asbarez)—At the initiative of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) and with the participation Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s (ARF) Bureau Youth Office, about two dozen delegates representing member organizations arrived in Armenia Friday as a part of a three-day visit that included a trip to Artsakh.
Prior to departing to Artsakh, the delegates had the opportunity to meet with Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia Shavarsh Kocharyan and ARF Bureau member and head of the party’s political affairs Giro Manoyan.
In addition, a joint press conference was held that featured Gevork Ghukasyan, a representative of the ARF Nigol Aghbalian Student Association; Sarine Abrahamian, a representative of the ARF Youth Organization, the Armenian Youth Federation; Rosella Pera, an executive board member of the Italian Socialist Party; and Dimitar Mitev, the chairman of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party.
“The International Union of Socialist Youth is the biggest political youth organization in the world, representing socialist and social-democratic youth organizations,” said Gevork Ghukasyan at the press conference. “Today’s Yerevan visit has brought together delegations from Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, and New Zealand. This provides an opportunity to make the future leaders aware of the Karabagh conflict and to create a more favorable political arena to discuss the issue,” stressed Ghukasyan.
In Artsakh, the European delegates will hold meetings with numerous political figures, including the Human Rights Defender, as well as representatives of the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry, and various Artsakh youth organizations. The agenda also features visits to historical monuments.
Mentioning that this is her first visit to Armenia, Pera attached great importance to gaining an understanding of the nature of the Karabagh conflict and sharing their knowledge with the European youth. She also expressed regret that many people are not aware of the Karabagh conflict or even the country’s existence.
Chairperson of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party Dimitar Mitev stated that this is his second visit to Armenia. While discussing the Artsakh conflict, he noted that after becoming aware of all the facts, he realized that Artsakh is a free and independent state that has been populated by Armenians throughout the region’s history.
“Kosovo has been an independent state for already 17 years, whereas Karabagh, having a richer historical background, unfortunately remains unrecognized,” said Mitev during the press conference. “The country will be eventually recognized amid the pressure of the international community.”
Both Pera and Mitav were aware of the possibility of appearing in Azerbaijan’s blacklist when visiting Artsakh.
“We see who the aggressors are and who are the victims of that aggression. We support our Armenian friends. It is not important for us to be blacklisted by an aggressive state like Azerbaijan. A more important thing is that the people of Artsakh continue to live a safe life,” Mitav said.
The Italian delegate Pera also assured the possibility of ending up in Azerbaijan’s blacklist does not frighten them.
Newly appointed Artsakh Foreign Affairs Minister Masis Mayilian received the IUSY representatives in Stepanakert on Sept. 30. He welcomed the visit of the delegation to Artsakh, noting that it is the best way to study the realities on the ground and to get truthful and objective information on the political processes taking place in the country.
During the meeting, Mayilian briefed the guests on the foreign policy priorities of Artsakh, as well as on the steps aimed at achieving progress in the conflict settlement process and international recognition of Artsakh. The foreign minister also answered participants’ questions related to the foreign policy challenges and regional problems.
A total of 27 delegates, including representatives of socialist parties and NGOs from 17 countries, are a part of the visit to Armenia and Artsakh.