YEREVAN (Yerkir)—In opposition to the recent statement by the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries—the US, France and Russia—the Armenian Revolutionary Federation “Nigol Aghbalian” Youth Organization protested at the OSCE headquarters and submitted a protest letter.
“We, unequivocally, will continue to pursue our demands, we will organize protests, publish open letters and announcements and next time we will engage the entire spectrum of activist Armenian youth in protests and demonstrations,” said ARF Youth Central Executive member Artur Ghazaryan.
“We hope that our protest actions will assist entities engaged in the Karabakh peace process to be more careful in their statements and assessments,” added Ghazaryan.
President Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev last week issued a joint statement urging the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to speed up the peace process and urged Armenia to “withdraw from occupied territories.”
The latter demand is seen by many, including the ARF Youth protesters as cornering Armenia into concessions and ignores repeated demands to include Karabakh in the peace negotiations.
The key point of contentions for the protesters is the leaders’ unwillingness to condemn Azerbaijan for the June 18 violation of the cease fire, as a result of which four Armenian soldiers were killed after Azeri forces attacked Armenian positions in Mardakert.
“Since 1994, Azerbaijan, on several occasions, has violated the cease fire, for which it has never been called to accountability. With all due respect to the OSCE Minks Group co-chair countries, we would like to establish that those countries that are not actively taking steps to curtail Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian and aggressive policies are equally guilty in perpetuating Azerbaijan efforts that go against peace and the negotiation processes. Hence, the US, France and Russia, which are advocates of peace, must revisit their posturing and not allow Azerbaijan’s violence and intimidation to go unanswered,” said the statement submitted to the OSCE office.
Ghazaryan was invited inside the OSCE headquarters in Yerevan, where he presented the protest letter. An OSCE representative, Gzhegozh Mikhlaski, assured the protesters that their letter will be sent to the proper entities in the Vienna Central office.