LONDON (PanArmenina.net)—An “all party” parliamentary group on Nagorno-Karabakh has been established in the British House of Lords. This initiative is getting mixed reviews by other House of Lords members since on the one hand it reinforces the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, but on the other hand it was initiated without consultation with other groups spearheading Armenian issues.
The group was founded by Lord Viscount John Desmond Waverley and Baroness Elizabeth Symons. Waverly, a former member of the Armenian All-Party Parliamentary Group, visited Karabakh in 1996 and was welcomed by the authorities in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
By initiating the British-Nagorno Karabakh All-Party Parliamentary Group , Lord Waverley and Baroness Symons have acknowledged the existence of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, obviously aware of the fact that during a Referendum in 1991 the people of Nagorno-Karabakh declared their independence and have, since then, held five presidential and four parliamentary elections confirmed by International Observers to be in compliance with International Electoral Standards and with utmost transparency.
But the establishment of this group has also raised concerns among some House of Lords members who say that in founding the group, their two colleagues did not contact any elected official from Karabakh, the UK Armenian Embassy nor the Armenian All-Party Parliamentary Group, which has for years advocated Armenian issues in the House of Lords, including matters related to the self-determination of the people of Karabakh.
“Lord Waverley and Baroness Symons must bear full responsibility and face the consequences of the great danger that any inadequately informed statement by their Group might harm, delay or jeopardize the current process of peaceful settlement advocated by the International Organizations who are engaged in the possible resolution of this very complex conflict. Organizations to which Britain is an active and concerned Member,” expressed members of the Armenian Group
“The Armenian Group would welcome the cooperation of this newly formed Group with its Members, with the Members of the Parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Diplomatic Corps of the Armenian Embassy and would encourage active correspondence, exchange of policy and information by facilitating a visit to Karabakh of British Parliamentarians (including Members of the Karabakh Group), where they will be able to obtain the true understanding of that country, its culture, history and aspirations,” added the Armenian Group.