WASHINGTON–A number of organizations representing the Armenian American community of the Western United States have appealed to the Presidents of France, Russia and the United States—which co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–to respects Karabakh’s right to self-determination. In three separate letters to President Barack Obama, French Ambassador to the US Pierre Vimont and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, the organizations called for an immediate correction to the flawed peace plan sought by the Minsk Group and warned that any agreement reached without Karabakh’s participation and which ignores its security, independence, is doomed to failure.
Below is the text of the letter.
“While we, as the Armenian organizations representing the Armenian community of the Western USA are encouraged by all international efforts made in good faith to bring about a peaceful resolution to the hostilities, unresolved status and territorial issues relating to Azerbaijan and the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR), we are deeply concerned about the recent initiative by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group that excludes the democratically elected leadership of NKR from the peace process and deliberately ignores the will of the people of Nagorno Karabakh that was lawfully expressed through the referenda of 1991 and 2006. Such flawed attempts – as manifested by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – at resolving the Karabakh conflict will not achieve any positive results and are doomed to fail.
Considering the above, we the undersigned firmly believe that a durable and sustained peace in the region can only be achieved if:
a) The right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to self determination is upheld and respected by Azerbaijan and the international community.
b) The Nagorno Karabakh Republic maintains a contiguous border with the Republic of Armenia as it currently enjoys.
c) The Armenian territories of Gedashen and Shahumian in the north of Karabakh are returned to the NKR by Azerbaijan.
d) A treaty is signed between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh affirming the end of all hostilities and the establishment of full diplomatic and good neighborly relations.
e) That only upon the conclusion of the above the security zone surrounding the NKR be considered for complete demilitarization:
We respectfully request that our foregoing concerns and stated positions be given due consideration and approval.
Armenian Apostolic Church of America – Western Prelacy
Armenian Catholic Eparchy, United States
Armenian Democratic Liberal Party
Armenian Evangelical Union of North America
Armenian National Committee of America – western Region
Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Western Region
Armenian Social Democratic Hunchakian Party