An Open Letter to EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin

EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin (Photo: Twitter/EU Armenia)

We are writing to you as former or ongoing Armenian participants and alumni of the Erasmus+ Program. The European Union has helped us access quality education (both formal and non-formal) in different corners of Europe, an experience that has changed us forever. We have benefited from the freedom of movement that our region has been short of because of the conflicts and continued hostilities since the collapse of the Soviet Union. We have bonded with people from various national backgrounds, thus strengthening the European in our hearts. We have learned to cherish democracy and human rights and each of us has embarked on making a change in our homeland; you can find us working in NGOs, governmental and international organizations, personal businesses or startups putting our skills for the prosperity of our country and strengthening the links with democratic Europe and the values that the EU stands for.

You can imagine that our world shattered on the 27th of September, when regardless of the geographic location, all Armenians woke up to a full fledged war, jointly planned by the aggressor Azerbaijan, its NATO member and EU candidate ally Turkey and international terrorists against the peaceful citizens of Artsakh (known to the international community as Nagorno Karabakh/NK) and Armenia. Since then, each of us has been doing his or her best to inform the international community about the wrongdoings of Azerbaijan and his belligerent accomplice by spreading only verified information, combating disinformation, and appealing to our European friends for their financial support to the Armenian refugees of Artsakh/NK. Nevertheless, each day of silence from the world costs us irreversible loss of innocent lives.

On behalf of the undersigned Erasmus+ participants and alumni, we urge you, as the Ambassador of the Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Armenia to advocate our message to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in order to condemn the aggressor’s attempts of extermination of Armenian population of Artsakh/NK and apply appropriate measures against the pre-planned military actions of Azerbaijan and its associate Turkey, which cannot stay a NATO member due to its proven entanglement of Syrian mercenaries and internationally banned terrorists groups into the battlefield. We are also devastated that this war was triggered amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic and is a serious threat to regional stability, as well as global peace and good governance.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are part of the Eastern Partnership program under the EU Neighborhood umbrella. EaP has promised to enlarge its partnership with the member countries based on the ‘more for more’ principle and we rely on this criterion as one of the bases of our appeal. In contrast to its bigger and wealthier neighbor Azerbaijan, since the Velvet Revolution of 2018 the Republic of Armenia has made substantial progress in regards to democratization and protection of human rights. According to the Freedom House, Armenia has improved its freedom score from 45 points (2017) to 53 (2020). Artsakh/NK, categorized as a partly free country, has also raised its score from 30 (2018) to 34 (2020). Meanwhile Azerbaijan, classified as a non-free country has the lowest and continuously decreasing score in the region, only 10 points. Moreover, Azerbaijan also continues its cultural genocide of the Armenian heritage (e.g Armenian Jugha cemetery in 2006) in Artsakh/NK, as, Armenian Christian pilgrimage site, Saint Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi was shelled twice by the Azerbaijani armed forces on October 8. We sadly witness how the aggressors depreciate the role of culture as a driving-force for democratic reforms in the EaP region.

Alas, our country is now being dragged into an escalating war with Aliyev’s dictatorship which disregards all democratic principles. A war that cannot be bypassed by the Republic of Armenia since Artsakh/NK is populated by ethnic Armenians and being a small nation we have the responsibility to protect our identity from any existential threat. We kindly request You to take into account various international media reports and verified facts that indicate this war is an attack on the young democracy in Armenia and Artsakh/NK. We are a nation seeking peace and stability, our historic path has taught us the value of peaceful existence, However, as 1984 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, human rights activist Desmond Tutu said “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. Hence we have to be alert and honest in recognition of the fact that Azerbaijan under the rule of Aliyev is not sharing the same values and sentiments. The facts supporting this statement are numerous.

During 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev (whom Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project recognized as the Person of the Year in 2012) accused Armenia in terrorism, while it is now recognized that Azerbaijan and its warmonger ally Turkey have been recruiting Syrian and Libyan jihadist mercenaries (terrorists) to fight against peaceful citizens of Artsakh/NK. Today various government officials such as the President of France Emmanuel Macron, internationally renowned media outlets CNN, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Reuters and so forth) and intelligence services of several countries confirm the truthfulness of these facts. As proud bearers of the European and Armenian democratic values, we understand and acknowledge that this war was initiated by dictatorial and corrupt leaders of Azerbaijan and Turkey, and not by the people of Azerbaijan. Despite the calls of Armenian side to respect humanitarian laws and the interim measures of the European Court of Human Rights, the Azerbaijan-Turkey criminal dictatorial tandem has deliberately targeted civilians and journalists.

Human Rights Defender of Artsakh/NK reported about 22 civilian casualties, 93 wounded, and over 5,800 damaged properties and key civilian infrastructures in Artsakh/NK. These crimes against humanity and the fact that over 50-percent of the population of Artsakh/NK (75,000 children, women, elderly) had to flee their country reflects the true motivation of Azerbaijani government, which is to have Artsakh/NK without its Armenian population. Moreover, despite the fragile truce attempts by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, after eleven hours of trilateral negotiations between the diplomatic corps of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan and the decision on humanitarian ceasefire achieved in Moscow on October 09 2020, Azerbaijani forces violated the ceasefire within five minutes after its coming into force.

Hence we call upon the European Union, with its successful mediation in conflict resolution and protection of human rights and democracy, to be more vocal and unambiguously reprehend and sanction the aggressors. All the above mentioned facts, backed up with our democratic values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and human rights, stimulate us – the Erasmus + Armenian participants and alumni – to raise our voice and appeal to You and the European Commission with the following calls:

  1. Abstain from equalizing the responsibilities of both sides in your official There are established facts that prove that Azerbaijan has planned and initiated the aggression and its leadership does not even hide its objective to cleansing Armenian population of Artsakh/NK.
  2. Consider sanctions against the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as responsible officials for their involvement in the infiltration of terrorist groups into the region, as well as for violating international humanitarian law against the civilian population of Artsakh/NK and Armenia.
  3. Remain consistent in your fight against international terrorism (as declared in EU Security Union Strategy) that is reemerging right now in South Caucasus.
  4. Recognize remedial secession of Artsakh/NK to secure the right of the people of Artsakh/NK for self-determination and the fundamental right to life.

The European Union is not a union based on economic interests alone, first and foremost it is a Union of values, and we are waiting for the EU to stand by its values.

Regards,

Erasmus+ participants and alumni of Armenia

Agate Avetisyan
Aleta Serobyan
Alisa Jamalyan
Alla Khosrovyan
Alvard Mamikonyan
Anahit Kostanyan
Anahit Margaryan
Anahit Takiryan
Anahit Yeghiazaryan
Andranik Sahakyan
Ani Akelyan
Ani Akelyan
Ani Badalyan
Ani Barseghyan
Ani Hambardzumyan
Ani Harutyunyan
Ani Harutyunyan
Ani Harutyunyan
Ani Hovsepyan
Ani Keshishyan
Ani Khachatryan
Ani Mazmanyan
Ani Mkrtumyan
Ani Nersisyan
Ani Shahinyan
Ani Tovmasyan
Ani Tumanyan
Ani Vardanyan
Ani Voskanyan
Anna Abazyan
Anna Arakelyan
Anna Gevorgyan
Anna Ghorukhchyan
Anna Khachatryan
Anna Khachatryan
Anna Khachatryan
Anna Khlghatyan
Anna Martirosyan
Araks Misisyan
Arevik Azizyan
Arevik Mikayelyan
Arevik Mnatsakanyan
Arevik Zaqaryan
Arman Azizyan
Arman Tonikyan
Armenuhi Arabyan
Armine Abrahamyan
Armine Barseghyan
Armine Maghakyan
Armine Manasyan
Armine Poghosyan
Armine Sargsyan
Armo Mikayelyan
Arpi Muradyan
Arpine Ayvazyan
Arpine Babayan
Arpine Jraghatspanyan
Arpine Sargsyan
Arpine Tumanyan
Arpine Vardanyan
Arsen Jomardyan
Artem Hakobyan
Ashkhen Mesropyan
Asya Hayrapetyan
Aza Gevorgyan
Azatuhi Hovsepyan
Byurakn Ishkhanyan
Chinar Movsisyan
Davit Aghabekyan
Davit Dilanian
Davit Hayrapetyan
Davit Minasyan
Davit Muradyan
Davit Pipoyan
Diana Grigoryan
Diana Voskanyan
Diana Yeghiazaryan
Dianna Mlhamyan
Dr. Arsen Aproyan
Edith Soghomonyan
Emma Aghlamazyan
Emma Arakelyan
Emma Grigoryan
Emma Poghosyan
Emma Umityan
Erik Aleksanyan
Erik Dallakyan
Erik Vardanyan
Erik Yeghinyan
Evelina Arakelyan
Galina Hovhannisyan
Garegin Hambardzumyan
Garik Ovoyan
Gayane Avetisyan
Gayane Hayrapetyan
Gayane Melkonyan
Gayane Sargsyan
Gayane Vardanyan
Gayane Voskanyan
Gevorg Harutyunyan
Gevorg Sargsyan
Gohar Abrahamyan
Gohar Beybutyan
Gohar Ghukasyan
Gohar Karapetyan
Gor Margaryan
Gourgen Karapetyan
Greta Sargsyan
Grigor Janikyan
Grisha Gasparyan
Harutyun Sargsyan
Hasmik Givargizyan
Hasmik Kirakosyan
Hasmik Manukyan
Hasmik Martirosyan
Hasmik Matevosyan
Hasmik Sevoyan
Hasmik Topalyan
Hasmik Zakaryan
Hayarpi Shahinyan
Hayk Hovakimyan
Hayk Kalantaryan
Haykuhi Grigoryan
Haykuhi Harutyunyan
Heghine Aleksanyan
Heghine Fereshetyan
Heghine Kharazyan
Heghine Papoyan
Heghine Vardapetyan
Henrik Gharagyozyan
Hermine Fanyan
Ilona Poghosyan
Inessa Adilkhanyan
Irena Grigoryan
Izabel Azoyan
Izabella Tovmasyan
Janna Gevorgyan
Jenya Vardanyan
Johny Kondakjian
Karen Abrahamyan
Karen Ordyan
Katya Manvelyan
Khachatur Tovmasyan
Khoren Ispiryan
Kima Ghulyan
Knarik Karaminasyan
Knarik Meloyan
Kristine Hakobyan
Lamara Afrikyan
Laura Poghosyan
Levon Babamyan
Levon Mkrtchyan
Lia Hayrapetyan
Liana Karapetyan
Lida Avagyan
Lilia Harutyunyan
Lilia Mnatsakanyan
Lilit Farsiyan
Lilit Galstyan
Lilit Gharagozyan
Lilit Ghazaryan
Lilit Hakobyan
Lilit Harutyunyan
Lilit Margaryan
Lilit Martirosyan
Lilit Movsisyan
Lilit Nalbandyan
Lilit Ohanyan
Lilit Sargsyan
Lilit Sofyan
Lilit Yeghiazaryan
Lilit Yesayan
Luiza Mamyan
Lusine Ayvazyan
Lusine Ayvazyan
Lusine Dashyan
Lusine Ghazaryan
Lusine Margaryan
Lusine Sargsyan
Lusine Shahmuradyan
Lusine Snkhchyan
Lusine Topchyan
Lusine Yeghiazaryan
Mané Babayan
Mane Budaghyan
Mane Harutyunyan
Mane Tsaturyan
Mane Yesayan
Manush Gishyan
Manushak Alaverdyan
Manvel Khudinyan
Margarit Marukyan
Margarita Dadyan
Mari Gabrielyan
Mari Mkhitaryan
Maria Abrahamyan
Maria Azaryan
Maria Darbasyan
Maria Zakaryan
Mariam Grigoryan
Mariam Hakobyan
Mariam Harutyunyan
Mariam Hovhannisyan
Mariam Jilavyan
Mariam Karapetyan
Mariam Karapetyan
Mariam Khachatryan
Mariam Saghatelyan
Mariam Sargsyan
Mariam Sukiasyan
Mariam Tumanyan
Mariam Yevdokimova
Marianna Avetisyan
Marina Minasyan
Marine Nazaryan
Marine Ovesyan
Martin Movsesyan
Meline Ayvazyan
Meline Galustyan
Meline Manvelyan
Meline Margaryan
Meline Minasyan
Meri Aghajanyan
Meri Elchiyan
Meri Kocharyan
Meri Mikayelyan
Meri Mkrtchyan
Meri Torosyan
Merri Nalbandyan
Mher Shahinyan
Mijerita Khachatryan
Mkhitar Ghazaryan
Mkrtich Dallakyan
Monica Harutyunyan
Monika Ghevondyan
Naira Arakelyan
Naira Iritsyan
Nare Galstyan
Nare Hovhannisyan
Nare Ter-Gabrielyan
Narek Abroyan
Narek Botsinyan
Narek Sukiasyan
Narine Chukhuryan
Narine Hakobyan
Narine Tadevosyan
Nazeli Ghazaryan
Neli Abrahamyan
Nelli Abrahamyan
Nelli Gishyan
Nelly Zurabyan
Nensi Mkrtchyan
Nika Muradyan
Nina Aydinyan
Nona Adunts
Nona Petrosyan
Nune Hayrapetyan
Nune Markosyan
Nvard Mkrtchyan
Palina Sukasyan
Parandzem Mikayelyan
Pia Kai Sild
Radik
Rafayel Shirakyan
Rebeka Yeghiyan
Rita Keshishian
Rosi Ghalachyan
Rubina Arakelyan
Ruzanna Abovyan
Ruzanna Grigoryan
Ruzanna Sargsyan
Sargis Gevorgyan
Satenik Hovsepyan
Satenik Khachatryan
Seda Shekoyan
Seg Kirakossian
Selesta Baghdasaryan
Shake Karapetyan
Shiraz Sahakyan
Shushan Khachatryan
Shushanik Galoyan
Shushanik Harutyunyan
Shushanna Tevanyan
Silva Ayvazyan
Silva Muradyan
Siranush Khachatryan
Sirarpi Arshakyan
Sirun Shekoyan
Sofi Abrahamyan
Sofi Maytesyan
Sofya Piradyan
Sona Aghababyan
Sona Ghambaryan
Sona Hayrapetyan
Sona Martikyan
Sona Meliksetyan
Sona Voskanyan
Srbuhi Michikyan
Stella Aghvanyan
Stella Avetisyan
Suren Minasyan
Susanna Karakhanyan
Syuzanna Galstyan
Syuzanna Hovakimyan
Syuzanna Khachatryan
Syuzanna Manvelyan
Syuzanna Mosikyan
Taguhi Chakhoyan
Taisya Hovhannisyan
Tamar Aydinyan
Tamara Arakelyan
Tamara Msexleyan
Tamara Sedrakyan
Tatev Beglaryan
Tatev Derzyan
Tatevik Asatryan
Tatevik Galstyan
Tatevik Hovhannisyan
Tatevik Khodedanyan
Tatevik Kyandaryan
Tatevik Martirosyan
Tatevik Sahakyan
Tereza Hanyan
Tigran Avagyan
Tigranuhi Aleksanyan
Tornik Aghajanyan
Tsovinar Harutyunyan
Vahe Zargaryan
Valery Vanyan
Valya Martirosyan
Valya Martirosyan
Vanuhi Baghmanyan
Vanuhi Hovsepyan
Victoria Hakobjanyan
Vostanik Shishmanyan
Vrezh Matshkalyan
Zara Israyelyan
Zaruhi Karapetyan
Zaruhi Khachatryan
Zhenya Frangulyan
Zhenya Harutyunyan
Zhenya Malakyan

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles written and submitted by members of the community, which make up our community bulletin board.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*