Letter from Civil Society organizations in Armenia to NATO

On 14 October 2020, a number of civil society organizations had addressed James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as Despina Afentouli, NATO Brussels Caucasus officer, and Rosaria Puglisi, Head of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia, and the NATO Member States’ embassies in Armenia, with an appeal to prevent actions aimed at military escalation of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict by Turkey, a member state of NATO.

Despite the reports of the crimes and violations, NATO or any of its member states have to date failed to respond to the letter of the non-governmental organizations; the position of the Alliance on the actions of its member Turkey has not been presented.

We consider that NATO, as a military-political alliance fighting against international terrorism, is obligated to take effective measures to prevent future terrorist acts and the deployment of terrorist groups in the South Caucasus or the wider region.

According to the North Atlantic Treaty, the Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. Armenia is NATO’s active partner under Partnership for Peace Programme, Armenia cooperates with NATO in the defence sphere, in Afghanistan and Kosovo and on political and security issues, democratic standards, rule of law, and the fight against corruption. In this light, military operations by a NATO Ally towards a NATO Partner country, as well as of a NATO Partner (Azerbaijan) towards another NATO partner (Armenia) undermine the spirit of NATO Partnership for Peace and NATOs stance on encouraging peaceful resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Civil society hereby expresses concern over the fact that NATO and its Member States have failed to take any measures to prevent or stop Turkey, their ally and a NATO member state, from introducing terrorists into the South Caucasus and unfolding terrorist activities. This may be viewed as inaction and indifference towards respecting the fundamental principles of the North Atlantic Alliance.

We expect that NATO Member States will, nevertheless, take the required measures, including specific and genuine steps in line with the concerns expressed over the continuing violations of the ceasefire and the ensuing casualties during the meeting held in Brussels between

Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, and Armen Sargsyan, the President of the Republic of Armenia.

Therefore, we hereby once again call upon the NATO Member States that are genuinely interested in settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict by peaceful means and without use of force, in accordance with the North Atlantic Treaty, to put the following issues to an urgent discussion in the agenda of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly:

  • Preventing the direct or indirect involvement of Turkey, a NATO member state, in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict;
  • Precluding Turkey from recruiting terrorists and engaging them in the hostilities against Nagorno Karabakh; and
  • Conducting an impartial investigation into the war crimes in the hostilities waged with Turkey’s support and taking effective steps to prevent such crimes from occurring.

Letter from Civil Society organizations in Armenia to NATO

Signatories:

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office

Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center

Asparez Club of Journalists

Protection of Rights without Borders

Open Society Foundations – Armenia

Legal Development and Protection Foundation

Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC)

Public Journalism Club

Center for Legal Initiatives NGO

Armenian United Nations Association

Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression

Communities Finance Officers Association

Peace Dialogue NGO

New Generation Humanitarian NGO

“Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities NGO

Center for Rights Development NGO

Centre for Policy Studies

“Pink” human rights defender NGO

Martuni Women’s Community Council NGO

Armenian Psycho-Oncology Association

Country Water Partnership NGO

Centre for Community Mobilization and Support NGO

“Free Citizen” Civic Initiatives Support Center NGO

Queer sista platform NGO

Society Without Violence NGO

Compatriotic Union of ”Artsvabuyn Zeytun” ngo

Sexual Assault Crisis Center NGO

AEGEE-Yerevan/European Students’ Forum

Coalition to Stop Violence against Women

Real World Real People NGO

Socioscope NGO

“Women’s Forum” NGO

Helsinki Committee of Armenia

Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development

Consumers Support Center NGO

‘Shogher Union” Social-Educatinal NGO

“Caucasus” Sociological Research Centre NGO

World Armenian Youth Network – WostAYN

Social and Youth Workers

Regional Development and Research Center NGO

B2S Armenian Social Entrepreneurship Association NGO

Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia

Human rights power NGO

Human Rights House Yerevan

Human Rights Research Center