26/04/2013 – Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabakh
Members and participants of the European Parliaments EU-Armenia Friendship Group arrived in Nagorno Karabakh this morning and met with the President of the National Assembly H.E. Mr Ashot Ghulyan. After the meeting, members of the group were accompanied by Mr Ghulyan into the chamber of the National Assembly where they had the opportunity to address members of Nagorno Karabakh’s Parliament with official statements.
Dr Eleni Theocharous MEP, President of the EU-Armenia Friendship Group and an individual with a symbolic significance to the region due to her work as a doctor during the the war against Azerbaijan between 1988 and 1994, addressed the parliament and said:
“Everyone in the world has a motherland and a fatherland, some people like me have 2 one is Greece and the other is Artsakh. I would never believe when I came here 25 years ago that I would one day come back here as an MEP and address you, the brave people of Artsakh in your own parliament.”
“Artsakh is a thriving democracy, a state which consists of brave and wonderful people who believe in freedom and have proved this to the rest of the world. The People of Artsakh have proved that every free spirit, every free citizen in the world is a citizen of Stepanakert.”
Dr Theocharous went on to state:
“Artsakh represents a beacon of freedom all founded through blood and sacrifice during the war. The people have carried out their plight for self determination and liberty and have managed to create a system of values based on the same principles which are present in western civilisation. We as members of the European Parliament and Members of European National Parliaments must work together to not allow history to repeat itself and to keep Artsakh free and proud so its people can live in peace and prosperity.”
Valerie Boyer, a French Member of Parliament who joined the EU-Armenia Friendship Group on its first delegation also addressed the parliament and stated:
“I am not Greek or Armenian but I come from Armenia’s second capital, Marseille. As friends of Armenia it must be our duty to raise the awareness of Artsakh globally. Artsakh is a place based on principles of liberty, democracy and self determination and the world must see how these principles have manifested within society here. We must all work together on all levels, political, social and cultural to promote this cause for Artsakh, for it to receive the justice and recognition it deserves and for its people to continue living freely and happily.”
During their day in Nagorno Karabakh members and participants of the group also met with lecturers and students of Nagorno Karabakh’s state university, visited a state hospital and also went to see two of the regions famous churches, Gandzasar and Shushi before returning back to Yerevan.
(Dr Eleni Theocharous MEP) (Valerie Boyer MP, France)