Over 60 European Youth Representative Visit Artsakh Despite Azerbaijani ‘Black List’
STEPANAKERT (Panorama)—Over 60 representatives of the European Youth Parliament (EYP) from ten countries completed a three-day introductory visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on Monday, August 24, 2015. The delegates were in Artsakh to study the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The visit, which took place on August 22-24, was organized by the EYP Armenia and Karabakh non-governmental organization, Artsakhakertum, according to Caucasian Knot news.
“The delegation included young people from Armenia, Russia, France, Serbia, Lithuania, Poland, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, the U.S. and Nagorno-Karabakh. Apart from sightseeing, a meeting with Karen Mirzoyan, the foreign minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, was organized. During the meeting, the minister spoke about the current political situation in the region,” co-chairman of Artsakhakertum, Artak Beglaryan, told Caucasian Knot.
Beglaryan believes the EYP activists’ visit gives them a chance to become acquainted with the history and culture of Artsakh.
“The young people are already involved in politics to some extent, and it is crucial that they be provided with objective information about the processes going on here and spread the truth in their countries and across the whole world,” Beglaryan said.
He added that all delegates had been informed about Azerbaijan’s so-called “black list,” prior to their visit. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry maintains a notorious “black list” of travelers who enter the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic without prior arrangement with Baku, which Azerbaijan deems a violation of its border laws. Visitors who enter Artsakh without permission from Azerbaijan can be barred from visiting Azerbaijan in the future. The black list, however, did not change the EYP members’ decision to visit the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Hovsep Patvakanyan, EYP Armenia chairman, said that this project, titled “An introductory visit to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh,” was the second time it has been carried out.
“The European Youth Parliament is an organization uniting people of different nationalities. The visit of representatives of different countries to the region is crucial as they learned about Nagorno-Karabakh and understood that everything the press says is true. Moreover, projects for broadening the further cooperation between the representatives of various countries will be developed, so that they do not limit with introductory visits alone,” Parvakanyan noted.
Amro Ashur, from Palestine, said this was his first visit to Armenia and Artsakh, and that he saw, “a big difference between [the] Palestine and Karabakh conflicts.”
“In Nagorno-Karabakh, the tensions are only on the border, while in Palestine, the whole territory is under tension. But I don’t lose hope that both conflicts will be resolved and there won’t be innocent victims any more,” Ashur said.
He also welcomed the fact that the Palestinians could travel to Artsakh without a visa.
Ovsanna Seyfnaji, a journalist from Iran, said she traveled to Artsakh because, as a future specialist in international relations, she, “is interested in this region.” She also plans to visit Azerbaijan to get a full view of the situation.
“I intend to write an article about my visit in the view that the situation has changed in Iran, the sanctions are lifted, and Iran is looking for ways of establishing ties with other countries, especially the neighboring states,” she said.