Azerbaijani community protests biased position of speaker of house at Dutch Parliament

Politics Materials 12 January 2023 13:40 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijani community protests biased position of speaker of house at Dutch Parliament

BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 12. The Azerbaijani community operating in the Netherlands appealed to the Lower House of the Parliament of this country, in connection with the biased position of the Chairperson of the House of Representatives of the Parliament Vera Bergkamp, the State Committee for Work with Diaspora told Trend.

According to the committee, in a letter addressed to Bergkamp, on behalf of the ‘Ana Vatan’ (‘Motherland’) European Azerbaijani Women's Union, the Azerbaijani community consisting of 15,000 people living in the Netherlands expressed worry about the unilateral and biased position of the Lower House in connection with the recent tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia [claiming that Azerbaijan is allegedly blocking the use of Lachin-Khankendi road for Armenian residents of Azerbaijan's Karabakh, due to peaceful protests of representatives of Azerbaijani non-governmental organizations against illegal exploitation of natural resources which has been held since December 2022].

The letter authors called on the Lower House to take a fair position in relation to Azerbaijan and to objectively assess the events.

"We, being citizens of the Netherlands, are at the same time sensitive to what is happening in our historical homeland, and we call on you and your fellow MPs to objectively assess the events taking place there and take a balanced position aimed at peace, and not at deepening the conflict in the South Caucasus,” the authors said. “We are concerned that the Lower House does not respond to Armenia's systematic violations of the provisions of international humanitarian law.”

“Despite the signing of the statement following the second Karabakh war on November 10, 2020 by the prime minister of Armenia, Yerevan continues to lay mines in the territories of Azerbaijan. In August 2022, 2,728 anti-personnel mines produced in 2021 were found in the territories of Azerbaijan liberated from occupation,” the letter noted.

“In other words, while your parliament is adopting resolutions in support of Armenia, this country continues the criminal policy of mining territories, as a result of which 268 people have already died, including nine children, one woman and three journalists,” the authors explained.

The letter also noted that after the end of the second Karabakh war, only eight percent of the territories liberated from the 28-year Armenian occupation were demined, and 750,000 Azerbaijani refugees and former internally displaced persons still cannot return to their native lands.

"This is a serious economic, social and humanitarian problem for the whole society because there are our relatives among these people," the letter said.

Besides, according to the letter, the Lower House hasn’t yet reacted to the violation of international humanitarian law by Armenia, continuing to transport weapons and ammunition to illegal armed groups through the Lachin-Khankendi road, open for humanitarian purposes, to the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

The authors also reminded recent publications about the illegal dispatch of Iranian military specialists to Karabakh.

"It’s painful for us to observe the numerous mass graves of our compatriots found in the liberated territories. Why doesn’t your parliament put pressure on Armenia to transfer to Azerbaijan all the information about the missing persons, including maps of mass graves, for the reburial of the remains of our compatriots in accordance with our traditions?" the letter said.

Dutch MPs turned a blind eye to Armenia’s preventing the opening of transport routes between the western districts of Azerbaijan and its Nakhchivan region, thus violating the provisions of the statement of November 10, 2020, the letter stressed.

"For almost 30 years, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and its 300,000 inhabitants have been in a land blockade, only air transport is open," the authors added.

The community also accused Dutch MPs of taking an extremely biased position regarding the situation in the Lachin district [peaceful protests on Lachin-Khankendi road].

"You blamed Azerbaijan without clarifying the objective picture but guided solely by the Armenian viewpoint. Accepting only the Armenian position won’t contribute to the normalization of the situation in the South Caucasus region, and the achievement of peace between the Karabakh Armenians and Azerbaijanis," the letter added.

In conclusion, the community called on Bergkamp to receive a delegation of Azerbaijani diaspora organizations to discuss the issues mentioned in the letter and eliminate the concerns of the Azerbaijani community.