The Republic of Chameria President Festim Lato together with the Prime Minister Ali Aliu participated in a European Parliament conference on Nagorno Karabagh. The conference was organised by the AGBU, EuFoA and the EPP on the occasion of thirty year after the start of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict. Many parliamentarians and other high-level participants were present at the conference.
A main topic of the conference was the role that the European Union could and should play in the conflict in the Caucasus. The conflict entered its 30th year and the role of the EU as a peace broker has been very marginal over the past decades. The negotiations to come to a peaceful settlement are formalised in the Minsk group consisting of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, USA and France, without a role for the EU. The many parliamentarians and others at the conference expressed their desire for more EU involvement, not just in the form of humanitarian aid.
The organisers of the conference drafted a proposal to pave the way for peace and have an important part to play for the EU. The speakers and audience participated in a dialogue about these ten proposals.
- The EU should designate key staff empowered to visit Nagorno Karabagh on a regular basis and to report on the situation on the ground.
- The EU should initiate a shuttle diplomacy trialogue between Baku, Stepanakert and Yerevan.
- Create a space for civil society exchanges
- The EU should support projects to benefit the populations that suffer from the consequences of the war close to the contact line, in Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabagh.
- The EU should support the publication of a report on hate speech in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabagh.
- The EU should support demining in the region.
- The EU should provide support to human rights monitoring in the context of the conflict.
- The EU can help broker an agreement between the parties to allow for humanitarian flights between Stepanakert and Yerevan.
- The EU should cooperate with, and provide support for a team of experts to carry out an inventory of endangered cultural heritage in the region.
- The EU should broker a dialogue on environmental issues, such as water use, fire prevention and other between authorities in Stepanakert and Baku.
Nagorno Karabagh is a region which has been inhabited by an Armenian speaking population since time-immemorial. It has seen many foreign rulers. In the final days of the Soviet Union the Karabagh people advocated for self-determination and international respect for their nation. When Soviet rule disappeared, a conflict with Azerbaijan broke out which tried to incorporate the region. With support from Armenia the people in Nagorno Karabagh were able to fend off the attacks and establish their independent country. The country has been independent since 1991 and tries to get recognition from the UN.
The many professionals, diplomats and parliamentarians present at the conference provided the Republic of Chameria President Festim Lato the ability to enlarge the network of support for his peace plans for Chameria. Furthermore, the situation of Nagorno Karabagh bears many similarities to that of Chameria. Both have been the victim of historical injustice and try to be recognised as a peaceful, independent nation through negotiations. There were many professionals present at the conference who have played an important role in the conflict and in the negotiations.