CSI calls on Armenian premier to back Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self-determination

Christian Solidarity International (CSI) has written to the prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, urging him to reaffirm Armenia’s support for Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self-determination, as expressed in the OSCE Madrid Principles of 2007.

CSI International President John Eibner at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan. csi

CSI International President John Eibner at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan. csi

Text of media release

In his letter dated 1 June 2023, CSI International President Dr John Eibner warns that Prime Minister Pashinyan’s publicly declared readiness to recognize Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno Karabakh could open the door to a new genocide of Armenians. This spring, Pashinyan has reiterated that he recognizes Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over the Armenian people of Nagorno Karabakh and their land.

Eibner recalled that in a joint statement issued on 2 November 2008, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia had declared that the final legal status of Nagorno Karabakh – a disputed region in the South Caucasus – would be decided by its population in a plebiscite.

This right to self-determination is also expressed in the OSCE Madrid Principles for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

“Following your unilateral concession, Azerbaijan’s ultra-nationalist dictator established a military checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor and has renewed threats of violence against not only Nagorno Karabakh, but also against the Republic of Armenia itself,” Eibner wrote.

Church condemnation

The Armenian Church has condemned Pashinyan’s acceptance of Azerbaijani sovereignty over Nagorno Karabakh “under the pretext of peace”, Eibner said, out of a fear that rather than peace this capitulation would lead to “a new genocide and depatriation” of the Armenian people in the region.

“Given Azerbaijan’s past and current use of force against the people of Nagorno Karabakh and against the Republic of Armenia, including extensive anti-Armenian Christian ethnic/religious cleansing and the process of anti-Armenian genocide since the end of the 19th century, the judgment of the leadership of the Armenian Apostolic Church carries with it the seal of prophetic authenticity,” Eibner said.

“CSI urges you to reaffirm Armenia’s commitment to work for the fulfilment of the Madrid Principles, including the right to self-determination for the population of Nagorno Karabakh, and to… pursue within the framework of the OSCE a comprehensive peace agreement with Azerbaijan…,” he concluded.

CSI has supported the people of Nagorno Karabakh’s right to self-determination and has provided humanitarian aid to victims of Azerbaijani aggression since the first Nagorno Karabakh war (1988-1994).

At the end of May, CSI launched a special campaign, The Cost of Silence, to highlight the growing threat of genocide facing Nagorno Karabakh’s Christian population.

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