MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (PanARMENIAN.Net) — The launch of the Nagorno Karabagh Forum was held here on Friday September 2 with a team of social activists, academics and lawmakers “whose task is to enrich and promote the country’s position of support for a peaceful solution of the conflict between Nagorno Karabagh and Azerbaijan.”
The forum participants included Senators Ruben Martinez and Rafael Michelini Huelmo, Deputies Pablo Abdala, Susana Pereyra and Daniel Radio, as well as lawyer Oscar Lopez Goldaracena, historian Gerardo Caetano and former Vice Foreign Minister Belela Herrera. The latter two co-chaired the group.
The members of the forum signed of a manifesto which, among other things, confirms the work of the participants in favor of “a peaceful settlement of the issue of Nagorno Karabagh” and “defending the right of its population to develop a free and sovereign country in their ancestral homeland, without threats or violence.”
The document also endorses “the mediation efforts by the Minsk Group of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe” and urges the international community to continue its efforts to “ensure respect for the agreements reached, put a stop on war rhetoric and discourage the parties to further deepen the wounds that the conflict has caused with new armed clashes.”
“We want them to know that in Uruguay, thousands of kilometers away from Karabagh, there are other people who are not indifferent,” said Deputy Radio after reading the manifesto. “What we are doing is an act of justice,” added Michelini.
Lopez Goldaracena, meanwhile, spoke from the perspective of law: “The people of Nagorno-Karabagh have already ‘self-determined’, because they chose their model of a free sovereign state.”
“We are launching an initiative that we hope will be replicated throughout the world,” said former Vice Foreign Minister Herrera. Caetano warned that Uruguay is “not for sale” and that while “Azerbaijan is powerful and knows how to buy wills” they firmly believe in the independence of Nagorno-Karabagh.
Senator Ruben Martinez Huelmo said that the Forum is called to “overcome the threats,” while Deputy Susana Pereyra stressed the commitment of the people of Nagorno-Karabagh to democracy from her experience as an election observer in 2012. Deputy Abdala remarked that the “path that starts today will sooner or later lead to the independence, freedom and self-determination of Nagorno Karabagh.”
The event was inaugurated by Viken Boyadjian, member of the Armenian National Committe of Uruguay, who thanked the members of the Forum and recalled the commitment that keeps Uruguay with the Armenian people, Mario Nalpatian, member of the International Armenian National Committe and vice president of the Socialist International, and Robert Avedisian, Permanent Representative of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic to the United States.
Avedisyan brought the message of President Bako Sahakyan, who thanked Uruguay for being a “leading democracy” and encouraged Forum members to remain “independent” in its decisions and attached to the values of human rights and justice, despite the “possible opposition from oppressive and oil-rich regimes and its allies.”