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The open letter of the third president of RA Serzh Sargsyan to the presidents of the USA, Russia and France

The open letter of the third president of RA Serzh Sargsyan to the presidents of the USA, Russia and France
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Sunday, 23 July, 2023, 17:18

Open letter

H.E. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
H.E. Joseph R. Biden Jr, President of the United States of America
H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic

Your Excellencies:

A few days ago three-year-old Leo and six-year-old Ghita died of suffocation in one of the villages of Mardakert region, Republic of Artsakh. They went out of home in search of their mother, who had earlier left for the city on foot in search for food.

The siege of Artsakh has been ongoing for seven months. Now it started claiming lives – of both the elderly and children, of common people, whose only guilt is being born on the land of their ancestors and the love for life. We appreciate all those influential states and international organisations who have so far spoken out without ambiguities of the present situation. Such statements are crucial for the people of Artsakh who are fighting for life. However, unfortunately, such statements alone did not save the lives of little Leo and Ghita. It’s most appalling that words alone may fail to save the lives of many more children and the elderly – not in the virtual future, but literally next morning.

Today the physical survival of 120.000 Armenians in Artsakh is very literally endangered. With each of you we have had many opportunities in the past to talk about what happened to Armenians in 1915, as well as the very consequences of the Armenian Genocide. Now, 108 years later, we are facing the immediate danger of the repetition of the same gruesome events, albeit carried out in modern methods.

Your Excellencies, Presidents:

I appeal to you first and foremost as Presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, as leaders who have first-hand knowledge of where the Nagorno Karabakh peace process has taken us by 2018. It's in that year that our society has made an emotional choice and transferred reins of power to a politician who had no idea of what statehood was. I fully realize that many considered that as opportunity to try and resolve the issue of Artsakh by leveraging on that individual's unreasonable steps that had nothing to do with the real interests of our country. Yet, as a matter of fact, the conflict has not been resolved, while the associated problems have deepened, whereas that very individual no more has the vote of confidence of our people to recognise Artsakh as part of another state. Neither he has any vote of confidence on behalf of the people of Artsakh to singlehandedly decide their destiny.

I am appealing to you as leaders of countries where you have unquestionable institutional memory pertaining to the issue of Artsakh. Today, in contrast to the incumbent Armenian authorities, there are serious professionals and experts about the Nagorno Karabakh peace process in various institutions of your respective countries, who have knowledge about all nuances and are well aware of all prior phases of conflict resolution.

I am appealing to you as your former counterpart, as someone whose objectives and principles are well known to you. I resorted to this genre given my lack of direct access to you. We exchange no official visits or one-on-one formats, channels of communications through political party formats are either weak or missing, since the relevant opposition party officials have been either persecuted or simply jailed in our country.

I am appealing to tell you what has been happening in Artsakh is a direct route to a terrible catastrophe.

I am appealing to ask you to give a chance to life to the people in Artsakh. It's a great personal tragedy for me that years ago we used to negotiate settlements by which the people of Artsakh would live in their own country in dignity, yet now we are talking about merely giving them a chance to life, asking for their right to live.

We have taken note with sense of appreciation all your efforts aimed at resolving this issue. Yet what is happening these days will not lead to any such settlement that you may quite diligently have envisioned. Direct negotiations between an experienced dictator and someone silly and incapable will simply not reach any reasonable point. Every satisfied demand by the dictating party will lead to new ones, much more difficult to satisfy. This will continue forever and will bring large-scale catastrophes. Keeping silence or failing to devote more time to the issue of Artsakh now means that very soon your countries will be forced to take time to address the "the question of Armenia". This is a very real scenario given the incompetent negotiator we have, moreover having a sizeable portion of the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia under occupation for some time.

I am hereby asking you - before anything else - stop the humanitarian catastrophe in Artsakh. I believe you can do that. Force the dictator to open the "road of life". The fascist, who has made annihilating Armenians his lifestyle, cannot be allowed to continuously disregard clear messages by most serious international organisations and states. Stop the calamity. Please, secure the most basic life conditions for the people of Artsakh. I am asking you to ensure guarantees for this, and only then transition to efforts of finding diplomatic solutions. Or else it may be late tomorrow.

Respectfully,

Serzh Sargsyan

Third President of the Republic of Armenia (2008-2018)