I’m always grateful to my second homeland, Armenia, and the Armenian nation for giving me the opportunity to fight for Armenians’ honor. Eleni Theocharous (Cyprus), former Member of the European Parliament (MEP), on Friday stated this at the “Cooperation for Justice and Peace” Forum of Artsakh Friends, in Artsakh’s capital city of Stepanakert.
In her words, Artsakh has belonged and been populated by Armenians for millennia, but human rights and international law are applicable to states that can enforce those rights in their own interests, and that is why it is in their interests to consider Artsakh as a disputed territory.
Theocharous noted that the conflict in Artsakh began in the late 1980s, when Armenians living in Artsakh stood up for their freedom, independence and self-determination, and demanded reunification with their motherland, Armenia, but Azerbaijanis, with the support of Soviet troops, carried out the pogroms of Armenians in Sumgait and Baku. She added that the Soviet army also got involved and, with the help of Azerbaijani militia, they attempted to make Artsakh devoid of its Armenian population, as they had done earlier in Nakhchivan.
The ex-MEP noted that, over the course of these years, Artsakh was able to become a state being built, and to achieve a recognized status. She said we know that Artsakh does not have an internationally recognized status today, but it has established democratic institutions, modern system of governance, and healthcare, education, social, and transport security systems. As per Theocharous, people’s living standards in Artsakh have improved considerably.
She stressed that the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination is also presented in the first chapter of the UN Charter, and the time has come for the UN, EU, and friendly nations to recognize Artsakh, and this is neither naive thinking nor a politically incorrect approach.
Theocharous said there is a need to ensure a climate of security and protection, eliminate all threats, establish lasting peace, and oppose any manifestation of aggression that is consistent with all principles of international law.
She noted that many in the EU see the Artsakh movement as a separatist movement, but this is not the case because the struggle of the people Artsakh was, in essence, a revolt of “slaves” against the state that had “enslaved” them.
In conclusion, Eleni Theocharous said she is proud that God had given her the opportunity to see the Artsakh war in the name of freedom of the people.