The political future of Nagorno-Karabakh must be decided by its population. Catalan Member of the Spanish Congress

Miriam Catalan Member of the Spanish Congress thinks it should be possible to reach a peaceful agreement by diplomatic means.

The political future of Nagorno-Karabakh must be decided by its population. Catalan Member of the Spanish Congress

The political future of Nagorno-Karabakh must be decided by its population. Catalan Member of the Spanish Congress
STEPANAKERT, NOVEMBER 2, ARTSAKHPRESS: In an interview with “Artsakhpress” Miriam Nogueras touched upon the involvement of terrorists in the war unleashed by Azerbaijan in the territory of Artsakh, the response of the international community and other issues.The interview is presented below:
 Ms Nogueras, from September 27th until today, the attacks carried out by Azerbaijan in Artsakh haven’t stopped, not even with a ceasefire that has been declared twice. Do you think it is possible to reach a peaceful accord and a final solution by diplomatic means?
 I think it should be possible to reach a peaceful agreement by diplomatic means. This is the 21st Century and political conflicts ought to be solved through political and diplomatic channels. For that to happen, first of all, Azerbaijan and Turkey have to put an end to the fighting. Here, international pressure is very important. Junts Per Catalunya, the Catalan party I belong to, we have introduced a proposal in Parliament to urge the Spanish Government to refrain from selling arms to Azerbaijan by suspending effective immediately such transactions, to condemn Turkish military support to Azerbaijan, and to lead the imposition of sanctions against Turkey. Last but not least, we demand the will of the people from Artsakh be respected.
During these days of infighting, Azerbaijan has shown the true face of its politics, committing war crimes and torture against civilians. Under these circumstances, is it possible to talk about the status of Artsakh and the recognition of Azerbaijani autonomy?
A democracy is about being respectful to citizens, to the population. It is evident that such a respect does not exist. There is absolutely nothing that justifies the killing of innocent civilians. Nothing. The respect I talk about is also about condemning any and all cultural cleansing campaigns. Because that is pure racism, and befitting of a dictatorship. All democracies should take a stand. That is why we call on the Spanish government to put their money where their mouth is: that they are a consolidated democracy that defends human rights. With regards to Catalonia, they have not behaved as such. With Armenia, Spain may have the chance to redeem itself from their past mistakes. There is a question we should be asking ourselves. If Azerbaijan is unable and unwilling to respect Armenian culture, traditions and heritage, or the human rights of the people from Nagorno-Karabakh, why should they control that territory?
What is your response on the fact that Azerbaijan is waging a war against Artsakh with Turkish and Israeli support, and with the direct involvement of terrorists and mercenaries? What kind of future are we building for our kids?
 I refuse to accept that it will be one of more war and deaths motivated by conflicts than can be resolved diplomatically. What’s the use of ruling by fear? It only serves the interest of those who want power, power at all costs. In this day and age, what would be optimal and reasonable is that actions were rooted in global interests, in the wellbeing of the population, in protecting our planet and ultimately, in building a better future for everybody. And that is very far removed from what many countries do. The days of mistreating citizens in order to maintain a status quo that benefits very few people are numbered. Many people faced with attitudes that belong in the past, more and more so, are saying enough is enough. Europe must take action because the presence of Syrian mercenaries and terrorists in Azerbaijan show how far Turkey is willing to go. Spain must stop considering as, and I quote the current Spanish foreign minister, “an ally, a friend and a partner” a nation that under Erdogan is willing to go against everything that a so-called democracy should be about. Turkey is at the moment a destabilising element, both in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus. The country cannot be counted as an ally. That is why we support the imposition of sanctions at a European level.
The penetration of terrorist mercenaries on behalf of Azerbaijan in the Artsakh territory during the war may suggest the application of international terrorism, of which the president of the Artsakh Republic, Arayik Harutyunyan. In your opinion, does the presence of terrorists in the region create an opportunity for large-scale terrorist operations outside the Artsakh-Azerbaijan conflict?
The use of mercenaries is not a new phenomenon, but it does indeed reflect the seriousness of the conflict. The international community must condemn those practices and impose sanctions on those who promote it. In our proposal to the Spanish Congress of Deputies we include this petition, because EU nations must stand up for the human rights of everyone.
 Despite the lack of international recognition of Artsakh, today the question of Artsakh is the focus of attention of the international community. On your view, what prevents the international community from recognising Artsakh as a sovereign state, from accepting the independence of the Artsakh Republic?
 The way I see it, recognition from Armenia should come first, as the initial step of many others that should follow, yet I understand that Armenia wants to solve this issue diplomatically, and doing so is not easy. But let me be very clear – the will of the majority of the population in Nagorno-Karabakh must prevail. It is imperative that the international community step out of their comfort zone, assuming a leading role in the resolution of the conflict an becoming an active actor. In this conflict but also in others, such as the one between Spain and Catalonia.
 Representatives of political parties, organisations and influential individuals in different countries, among them Spain, are putting out statements condemning the situation in Artsakh. To what extent do these forces represent the political opinion of the countries they represent?
 The Catalan Parliament, through its Committee on Foreign Affairs, passed a resolution to “condemn the attacks against Nagorno-Karabakh”. And it did so with overwhelming numbers – the signatories represented over 70% of all Catalan parliamentarians. A huge number of local councils in Catalonia are passing motions to show their solidarity with Armenia. And I, as a Junts Per Catalunya representative, I am introducing a proposal to suspend all Spanish arms sales to Azerbaijan and to condemn Turkey. So, I think this support is representative of the public mood. There is widespread support and empathy for what the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are going through. We have an important Armenian diaspora in Catalonia, and we will stand by them in these difficult times. Now, the generalized indignation showed across Europe must be translated into action. We have asked the Spanish government to suspend their arm sales to Azerbaijan because for the political parties from the ruling coalition government to come out in public in favour of an end to the conflict while they keep selling arms that feed the war is incompatible. They cannot demand peace and send arms at the same time. In this regard, the timid EU response may show that, unfortunately, it is not yet ready to be a strategic player in the region. Be that as it may, I cannot stress enough that the political future of Nagorno-Karabakh must be decided by its population. Not by Turkey, not by Russia, but by the people from Nagorno-Karabakh.                    
                                                                                                      Interview by Ani Avanesyan