BRUSSELS — The European Parliament has strongly condemned Turkey’s destabilizing role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, accused Ankara of sending terrorist fighters to the conflict zone and called for an end to Turkish military aid to Azerbaijan.
In two resolutions adopted this week, the European Union’s legislative body also welcomed the Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped the Armenian-Azerbaijani war on November 10. But it cautioned that the conflict remains unresolved.
One of the resolutions calls for a Karabakh settlement based on the Basic Principles, a framework peace accord that has long been jointly advanced by the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group: the United States, Russia and France. It stresses the “urgent need” to ensure “the security of the Armenian population and its cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Turkey provided full diplomatic and military support to Azerbaijan during the six-week war. Turkish combat drones heavily used by the Azerbaijani army are believed to have been a key factor behind Baku’s military victory. According to Western media reports, Ankara also recruited thousands of jihadist fighters from the Middle East to fight on Azerbaijan’s side.
The European Parliament resolution “strongly condemns the destabilizing role of Turkey which further undermines the fragile stability in the whole of the South Caucasus region.” It says the Turks should “refrain from any interference in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including offering military support to Azerbaijan.”
The resolution also deplores “the transfer of foreign terrorist fighters by Turkey from Syria and elsewhere to Nagorno-Karabakh, as confirmed by international actors, including the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries.”
France has been especially vocal in its condemnation of that transfer. Its Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated last month French calls for “the departure of the Syrian mercenaries” from the conflict zone.
Armenia Welcomes EU Parliament Resolution
Armenia hailed the European Parliament resolutions on Friday. “The European Parliament not only condemns war crimes against Armenians, but also stresses that these crimes should not go unpunished”, Spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anna Naghdalyan says.
“There are a number of important provisions enshrined in the report-resolutions adopted by the European Parliament, which are related to the Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh and Turkey’s involvement in it, the committed war crimes, as well as the steps to be undertaken to eliminate the consequences of the aggression, especially to address humanitarian issues,” Naghdalyan said in comments to Armenpress.
She particularly emphasized that the European Parliament not only condemned the war crimes, including the targeting of civilian population and infrastructure, places of worship, but also stressed that these crimes should not remain unpunished.
“We agree with the European Parliament’s call for Turkey to refrain from any intervention in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including offering military support to Azerbaijan, and to desist from its destabilizing actions. In this context, it is especially important that the European Parliament has also condemned the fact that Turkey transferred foreign terrorist fighters from Syria and elsewhere to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone,” the Spokesperson added.
She emphasized the position of the European Parliament on humanitarian issues, particularly regarding the immediate repatriation of prisoners of war.
“It should be noted that the issues of security of the people of Artsakh, protection of historical-cultural and religious heritage were properly highlighted in the resolution. It is crucial that the European Parliament expressed its position of providing unhindered humanitarian assistance to Artsakh,” Naghdalyan noted.
“We emphasize the importance of the efforts of international community, in the form of such resolutions, to contribute to the elimination of the causes and consequences of the war, which in accordance to the resolution, supposes the lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the determination of the future legal status of Artsakh on the basis of the Basic Principles proposed by the Co-Chairs. As it was once again emphasized by this respective international body, right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination and security is at the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the Spokesperson said.