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About the relations between Belgium and Artsakh


At the initiative of the European Commission of “Hay Dat” deputies of the Federal Parliament of the Kingdom of Belgium and the regional Parliament in Brussels Andre de Busey de Vernafe, Emmanuel de Boc and Pierre Kompani arrived Artsakh. And they shared their impressions with journalists. By the way, Emmanuel de Boc and Pierre Kompani have been in Artsakh for the first time, and one can say that our country has become a kind of special discovery for them. They reconsidered democratic values through the prism of Artsakh.

‘Our visit is not only cognitive, but also, our aim is to establish cooperation ties with the Republic of Artsakh’, during the press conference stated Andre de Busey de Varnafe.

 Together with time interest towards Artsakh is growing among parliamentarians from Belgium and following the visit we tell our colleagues about people living in Artsakh, their struggle; it is necessary to mention that we deal with a country where values are appreciated. As you know, much attention is paid to human rights protection and the development of democracy in general.

Our visit to Artsakh is important, since returning Brussels we must tell our colleagues about life in Artsakh, what kind of values it has adopted and how people struggle for freedom, independence and justice. It is the third time I have been in Artsakh, and great progress is noticed. Our visit has the aim of communicating, finding cooperation ties which may be established in healthcare, educational, tourism and cultural fields. In this regard, I expect much from Francophonie, since this way new fields of cooperation may be established. Some programs with universities, Foreign Ministry have been organized, for younger specialists have the opportunity of having qualification classes in the field of culture. We should expand and deepen cooperation between the two countries, it is necessary to find supporters in the Parliament, otherwise any program is sentenced to failure.

In its turn Artsakh should be able to establish strong institutional structures. It is necessary to have not talented and bright personalities, but structures.

– What do you think about the statement made by Azerbaijani authorities as to opening criminal case against the deputies of the European Parliament Elen Teoharus, Frank Engel and Jaromir Stetina.

First of all, I am very surprised, that they named only three people, since more parliamentarians visited Artsakh. We are well acquainted with politics of Azerbaijan, it is not new. I also faced such a problem with the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Belgium and Azerbaijani lobby in general. I felt the pressure when I first visited Artsakh and behavior of the authorities of the country does not surprise me any longer.

The president of Azerbaijan has lately appointed his wife as a vice-president. This must have caused great criticism. But Europe keeps silence. What is your opinion about it?

Very often there are situations when, on the one hand there are economic, on the other hand democratic values and their clash causes greater tension. For example, the economic lobby of Turkey plays a very important role in Europe. It is necessary to mention that Turkey is actively involved in the economy of Belgium. I cannot present the economic turnover of Azerbaijan and Belgium in numbers, but it is large. The difficulty is in the fact that we must be very weighty and precise, and preserving democratic values we should not neglect the economic aspect as well. Along with it, we should not forget about the electoral process, the thing is, a great number of Turks and Azeri people live in our country and they have influence on the electoral processes. Very often basing on economic interests we do not pay attention to extremes, and it is economic pressure. The problem is quite complicated. If we break economic relations with those countries, it will cause harm to the people of the country.

Anyway, this is not ambiguous. People in Europe are fighting against radicalism, it comes from the Muslim world, and the results of it are the frequent terrorist acts taking place in Europe. I would like to stress the role of Angela Merkel in this, the German Chancellor, who was one of the first people not only to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but also to admit guilt of Germany. This is a perfect example for me, because there are many Turks in Germany.

In my opinion, in any case economic interests should be subordinated to human rights protection and freedom. And when we choose partner countries, it is necessary to give preference to democratic countries. Due to economic ties we should have influence on countries where democracy is not on a sufficient level, in order to spread our political views. It is a matter of political ethics and it should be able to prevail over economic interests.

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