Artsakh is a de facto independent territory with viable and strong democratic governing structures. Member of Spanish Parliament John Inarritu

On September 27, Azerbaijan launched active hostilities along the Artsakh-Azerbaijani line of contact and in the direction of peaceful settlements of Artsakh.

Artsakh is a de facto independent territory with viable and strong democratic governing structures. Member of Spanish Parliament John Inarritu

Artsakh is a de facto independent territory with viable and strong democratic governing structures. Member of Spanish Parliament John Inarritu

STEPANAKERT, OCTOBER 26, ARTSAKHPRESS: On diplomatic solutions to the conflict, the involvement of mercenaries during the war and a number of other issues, “Artsakhpress’’ had an interview with the Member of Spanish Parliament John Inarritu.

- Mr. Inarritu, the hostilities carried out by Azerbaijan in Artsakh since September 27 have not stopped in the conditions of the declared ceasefires. Do you think it is possible to reach a peaceful settlement and a final solution to the issue through diplomatic channels?

-A peaceful solution to the conflict is desirable, that is the goal of the Minsk agreement. Azerbaijan's aggression against Artsakh with the support of Turkey is inexplicable. I think that the international community should be clearly involved and it should take measures against Azerbaijan for unilaterally violating the ceasefire regime and for breaching the international norms on conflicts and human rights. Now, taking account the ongoing violations of the ceasefire by the Baku government, it would be reasonable to ask for an intervention and monitoring forces to ensure the maintenance of ceasefire. 

-In these days of war, Azerbaijan is showing the true face of its policy, even committing war crimes and torture  among civilians. Is it possible in these conditions to talk about the issue of the recognition of Artsakh’s autonomy and status by Azerbaijan?

-In my opinion, a state that attacks civilians in this way in the territory that seeks to control it in this way has lost all legal possibilities to do so. I think that according to the wishes of the majority of the citizens of Artsakh, the recognition of NagornoKarabakh-Artsakh as an independent state is the fairest and most effective decision to ensure a peaceful and secure future for its citizens, as well as for the whole Caucasus.

-How would you assess the fact that Azerbaijan, with the support of Turkey, Israel and mercenary terrorists, has waged war against Artsakh?

- I see different problems. On the one hand, Azerbaijan relies on Turkey, with which it has all kinds of ties, at a time when this country is opening fire on the entire region. All the conflicts in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and now the Caucasus have the direct or indirect intervention of Erdogan's government, which is very worrying. We are talking about a country that is a member of the Council of Europe, NATO and a candidate for membership in the European Union. These organizations and member states need to be more resolute.

On the other hand, sending mercenaries or even jihadists to Azerbaijan is a very worrying fact, which has been condemned by various media outlets. I hope it will be investigated by various international organizations, of which Turkey and Azerbaijan are a part. Finally, it is unacceptable that there are states that sell arms to states that violate human rights and international regulations. That is why I have asked the Spanish government not to sell weapons or dual-use equipment to Turkey or Azerbaijan.

-During the war the infiltration of mercenary terrorists into the territory of Artsakh by Azerbaijan also presupposes the implementation of international terrorism, about which the President of the Republic of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan has already spoken.
 How do you think, doesn’t the presence of terrorists in the region mean the creation of opportunities for larger-scale operations by international terrorists beyond the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict?

- This is a very serious and worrying issue. I am looking forward to a quick and effective investigation. Jihadism is a disaster that strikes all societies in the West and the East. This article published by various media outlets should attract the attention of international organizations.

-Despite the fact that Artsakh isn’t internationally recognized, today the Artsakh issue is in the center of the international community’s attention.

In your opinion, what prevents the international community from admitting Artsakh as a separate state and recognizing the independence of the Artsakh Republic?

-That’s nothing new that the international community prefers the status quo, reluctantly creates new states. In the same way, it is very difficult for a nation without a state to gain independence, but in the case of Artsakh we have an urgent situation. Artsakh is a de facto independent territory with viable and strong democratic governing structures. So far, no state has wanted to recognize it on the basis of the Minsk Bureau and to try to bring the parties to a final agreement.

-Taking into account the violation of the ceasefire regime, the unilateralism and  the dishonesty shown by Aliyev's government now and in the past, I believe the time has come for the international community to respond and assume that we are facing the issue of secession as before. Recognition of Artsakh will bring peace, security to its people and will end the long-running conflict. It will be favorable for keeping peace in the whole region.

                                                                                                          Interview by Ani  Avanesyan