STRASBOURG–The European Armenian Federation announced over the weekend that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is on the verge of adopting two resolutions–one questioning the independent status of the Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR)–and the other excluding the Armenian genocide day of remembrance from the European calendar. PACE members will determine the fate of both resolutions on Tuesday.
Prepared by David Atkinson (Democrat) from the United Kingdom–the resolution dealing with MKR notes that "considerable parts of the territory of Azerbaijan are still occupied by Armenian forces" and that "separatist forces are still in control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region." Full of incendiary language–the resolution also describes MKR as a mono-ethnic area "which [evokes] the terrible concept of ethnic cleansing."
"The Atkinson report is the report of Azerbaijan. This country believes that shifting the institutional framework will turn its crimes into virtues. Attempts of ethnic cleansing actually occurred but–contrary to Mr. Atkinson insinuations–it was the policy led by Baku," declared Laurent Leylekian–executive director of the European Armenian Federation.
"Without the fight for self-determination led by the people of Karabagh–theses historically Armenian territories would no longer house Armenia’s–as is the case today in the region of Nakhitchevan or throughout the areas of Eastern Turkey," Leylekian added.
On Tuesday–parliamentarians will also vote on a resolution drafted by Sweden’s Mats Einarsson (United Left)–which calls for the "establishment of a European remembrance center for victims of forced population movemen’s and ethnic cleansing." In its current form–the resolution cites several examples of genocides perpetrated during the twentieth century–including the Holocaust organized by the Nazis–the forced migrations directed by Stalin–and the genocide of the Ukrainians. It–however–deliberately omits mention of the Armenian genocide.
"How can we grant credibility to an institution which supports such a biased lecture of history?" questioned Leylekian. "By taking cues from Turkey–the Council of Europe is making itself party to a second symbolic murder of the Armenia’s of Anatolia and Western Armenia. Such a move–taken by an institution which claims to serve as the guardian of human rights in Europe–is simply pathetic."
The European Armenian Federation has called upon European citizens and organizations to intervene in the matter–by urging their PACE representatives to vote against the two resolutions. A complete list of PACE parliamentarians is available online at http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=/composition/DelegationsList.htm.