A group of former members of the Dutch parliament published a joint statement on the Nederlands Dagblad website, calling on the Dutch government and international organizations to send an international peacekeeping mission to [Artsakh] Nagorno-Karabakh and pressure Baku to accept the mission.
As Armenpress news agency reports, the former members of the Parliament of the Netherlands [States General] recalled the statement made by the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last week that if reliable security guarantees are provided, Armenia is ready to recognize the region [Artsakh] as part of Azerbaijan.
“In practical terms, this means that there must be international engagement to maintain that peace and prevent ethnic cleansing. The role of the Dutch government is important here.
In order to give peace a chance, in addition to the guaranteed security of the people of Artsakh, Azerbaijan should also provide faithful cooperation in establishing the final borders, the return of prisoners of war, the safe return of refugees, as well as administrative and cultural autonomy. The reopening of regional communications, such as the now closed [Berdzor] Lachin Corridor, the only access road from Armenia to Artsakh, is definitely important,” the statement says.
According to former members of the Dutch Parliament, with Prime Minister Pashinyan's statement, Armenia not only took a risk, but also made an important step towards peace.
“Now is the time for the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United States and Russia, if possible with the help of the United Nations, to support, help define and implement this prelude to peace. This is not possible without the actual participation of Artsakh representatives in the discussion. We all understand that this is a difficult issue, but it is of great importance. We have to face the fact that without international involvement, the peace process is doomed to failure. After all, the Baku regime is dictatorial and unreliable. Azerbaijan occupies a very low position in the Human Freedom Index, and dissidents, for example, are not tolerated.
Armenia, on the other hand, is a fully democratic country with partnership relations with the EU. Although Azerbaijan has economic relations with the European Union, particularly in the field of energy, this does not make it a reliable partner,” the statement further says.
The former Dutch MPs see the need to include neighboring countries such as Turkey and Iran in establishing a long-term peace, however difficult it may be.
“In general, now that Pashinyan has taken this important step, the time has come for the Dutch government to play a [more] active role. Armenia has opened a path to peace. Those in power in Baku must now show a willingness to promote the same.
The Netherlands should now actively focus on EU support, for example, a UN or OSCE observation mission or an international peacekeeping mission, in which the Netherlands will also actively participate.
It is necessary to send a clear message to the Baku dictator Aliyev. He has so far shown nothing more than all forms of obstruction and aggression. Let the European Union, in consultation with the international community, USA, UN, OSCE, draw a line and put pressure on Baku to accept the international peacekeeping mission. That's when it will become clear whether Aliyev wants peace or only aims for war,” the statement concludes.
The joint announcement was issued by Harry van Bommel, Leen van Dijke, Martijn van Helvert, Jan Hoekema and Joel Voordewind.