The Socialist International Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea held an online meeting on Saturday with the participation of member parties from countries across the region. Included in the agenda of the meeting was discussion about the Artsakh war and Azerbaijan’s aggression toward Armenians.
On the theme of peace and conflict resolution, significant attention was given to the recent conflict in the South Caucasus, and the meeting listened to the perspectives of participants from both Armenia and Azerbaijan on this subject.
Shaghig Maroukhian, a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia described the actions of Azerbaijan as a large scale aggression planned and coordinated with military and political support from Turkey. She called the attacks a blatant violation of the 1994 ceasefire agreement.
She accused the government of Azerbaijan of recruiting terrorist mercenaries from Syria and Libya, and of immediately violating two ceasefires agreed during October. The ARF called into question the November 10 ceasefire agreement and supported protests against the Armenian prime minister and the installation of an interim government.
ARF representative and SI Vice-President Mario Nalpatian considered that a just peace had not been reached, but outlined his party’s commitment to the values and principles of the SI and readiness to work toward fulfilling those goals in the South Caucasus.
Araz Alizadeh, co-chair of the committee and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan described the conflict as a “patriotic war which all Azeri political parties had supported, resulting in Armenian forces leaving territory they had occupied for the first time since 1993.”
Responding to reports of Turkish involvement in the war, he denied the presence of Turkish armed forces in Azerbaijan. His position was that Azerbaijan had not at any point attacked the territory of Armenia. He also claimed that his party did not want war.
In remarks on the resolution of conflicts, SI Vice-President Alexander Romanovich of the Just Russia party highlighted the personal role of the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in reaching a ceasefire agreement. He regretted the number of on-going conflicts in the CIS, referring to the situations in Moldova and Ukraine, and expressed his belief that conflicts could only be solved through negotiations with international support from the United Nations.
The SI meeting also discussed the global COVID-19 pandemic and the response in the regions covered by the committee, as well as tensions in Belarus, Transnistria and Kazakhstan.
In concluding remarks, SI secretary general Luis Ayala underlined that the SI had made the resolution of conflicts a part of its identity everywhere and would continue to bring together its member parties in search of common ground, compromise and cooperation. Democracy continued to be a major challenge in the region, he said.
He considered that as a political family the SI is truly involved in this region and is getting results. He paid tribute to social democrats across the region who were working for democracy and progress, improving the situation with hard work and perseverance, and expressed his pride that members of this political family were at the forefront of these efforts.