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NAKHIJEVAN ARMENIAN COMPATRIOTIC UNION OF CANADA (NACUC)
UNION COMPATRIOTIQUE ARMENIENNE NAKHIJEVAN DU CANADA (UCANC)
11766 de Poutrincourt, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3M 2A3 Tel. : (514) 333-1609 √ Fax: (514) 333-4789 √ Email: email@example.com
Montreal, 31st March 2006
Nakhijevan Hayrenagtsakan Miyoutyoun
Please find enclosed our recent Declaration in connection with the rights of Nakhichevan Armenians addressed to Canadian Ministry of foreign affairs, foreign policy decision makers of OSCE Group Minsk countries, involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, and to other parties interested in the stability and security of South Caucasus.
The Declaration states the basis of claims of Nakhichevan Armenians, who are actively seeking restitution of their fundamental rights in Nakhichevan. It also brings into light the hidden agenda of the Government of Azerbaijan: ethnic cleansing of Armenians from Nakhichevan during the soviet period, and in the recent period, destruction of Armenian monuments in that territory, in order to remove tangible evidence of Armenian historical and living presence, and claim for international corridor linking Azerbaidjan to that territory. All these steps are part of a plan preparing the final appropriation of Nakhichevan, to which that state does not have clear title. Azerbaijan received Nakhichevan as a consequence of the illegal Treaties of Moscow (16 March 1921) and Kars (13 October 1921), imposed upon Armenia by Soviet Russia.
We are providing this information to your student organization, as part of our public awareness efforts.
Nakhijevan Armenian Compatriotic Union of Canada
P.S. List of embassies, organizations and personalities to whom this Declaration is sent.
Canadian Ministry for External Affairs, South Caucasus desk
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, Ottawa
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, Washington
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, France
Embassy of Belarus, Ottawa
British High Commission, Ottawa
Embassy of the Czech Republic, Ottawa
Embassy of France, Ottawa
Embassy of Germany, Ottawa
Embassy of Greece, Ottawa
Embassy of Republic of Iran, Ottawa
Embassy of Italy, Ottawa
Embassy of the Russian Federation, Ottawa
Embassy of the Russian Federation, Washington
Embassy of the Slovak Republic, Ottawa
Embassy of Sweden, Ottawa
Embassy of the United States of America, Ottawa
Secretary General of Canadian Commission for UNESCO
A number of MPs in the Canadian Parliament with parliamentary interest in foreign affairs
NAKHIJEVAN ARMENIAN COMPATRIOTIC UNION OF CANADA (NACUC)
UNION COMPATRIOTIQUE ARMÉNIENNE NAKHIJEVAN DU CANADA (UCANC)
11766 de Poutrincourt, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3M 2A3
Tel. : (514) 333-1609 – Fax: (514) 333-4789 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DECLARATION IN CONNECTION WITH
THE RIGHTS OF NAKHICHEVAN ARMENIANS
Considering the efforts of Nakhichevan Armenians to achieve restitution of their fundamental rights in the territory of Nakhichevan, violated systematically since 1921 by Azerbaijan during the soviet period and after,
Considering the authorized destruction, in recent years, by the government of Azerbaijan, of Armenian historical and cultural monuments in Nakhichevan, and more particularly, the barbaric way by which the medieval Armenian cemetary of Djulfa (in Nakhichevan) was completely demolished by Azerbaijani military servicemen and transformed into a shooting range,
Considering the destruction of these monuments by Azerbaijan to be in accordance with a planned and hidden political agenda,
Nakhijevan Armenian Compatriotic Union of Canada, a Canadian non-profit organisation, in solidarity with Nakhichevan Armenians, conveys to Canadian Ministry of External Affairs, to foreign policy decision centers of OSCE Minsk Group countries, involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, and to other parties interested in the stability and security of South Caucasus, the following information :
1) The region of Nakhichevan, an enclave of 5,500 km², between Armenia and Iran, known currently as Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, has been inhabited by majority Armenians since ancient times and has been part of Armenia, until its forcible detachment from the motherland, according to the illegal Treaty of Moscow, signed on March 16, 1921 between Soviet Russia and Turkey.
We provide below some facts :
a) Nakhichevan region has been part of Sharur district of Ayrarat province, Vaspurakan and Siunik provinces of historical Armenia.
b) In 1828, after the Tukmenchai Treaty, Nakhichevan was incorporated first into the Armenian province created by Russia (1828-1840), then after its dissolution, into the province of Yerevan (1849-1918). Between 1918-1920 the territory was de jure part of the First Republic Republic of Armenia, then part of Soviet Armenia.
c) Trampling on the basic rights of the Armenian people, especially those of Armenians of Nakhichevan, Soviet Russia and Turkey, without Armenian participation, signed the illegal and illegitimate Treaty of Moscow on March 16, 1921, which put Nakhichevan under the ‘protectorate’ of Soviet Azerbaijan, as an ‘autonomous territory’.
d) This act was imposed by Soviet Russia upon Armenia, in the Treaty of Kars, signed on October 13, 1921, between Turkey and the Transcaucasian soviet republics.
2) The above mentioned Treaties of Moscow and Kars, permitted the annexation by Soviet Azerbaijan a part of the Armenian homeland, and the transformation of the ‘protectorate’ into an ‘autonomous republic’.
3) Despite Turkish-supported Azeri incursions during the period of 1918-1920, in order to modify the ethnic composition of Nakhichevan, Armenians constituted a substantial part of its population. However, under the cover of ‘Autonomous Republic’of the soviet period (1921-1989), Azerbaijani authorities, as part of a political hidden agenda, conducted towards the autochtonous Armenian population of Nakhichevan a policy of ethnic cleansing. Last Armenians were expelled during the period of 1988-1989, when Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) issue was in open discussion.
4) TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CURRENT INTERNATIONAL RIVALRIES AROUND SOUTH CAUCASUS AND CASPIAN REGION, THE GOVERNMENT OF AZERBAIJAN IS NOW ATTEMPTING TO IMPLEMENT THE NEXT STAGE OF ITS POLITICAL AGENDA : TO APPROPRIATE PERMANENTLY AND DEFINITIVELY THE HISTORICALLY ARMENIAN REGION OF NAKHICHEVAN, BY ERADICATING EVERY TANGIBLE EVIDENCE OF ARMENIAN HISTORICAL AND LIVING PRESENCE : CHURCHES, CEMETERIES, CULTURAL MONUMENTS, RESIDENTIAL TRACES AND INSCRIPTIONS. THE RECENT DESTRUCTION OF THE ARMENIAN CEMETERY OF DJULFA AND CHURCHES CONFIRM THIS PERSPECTIVE. WORLDWIDE DISSEMINATION BY AZERBAIJAN OF FALSIFIED HISTORICAL INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TERRITORY IS PART OF THE SAME PLAN. THE CLAIM BY AZERBAIJAN, FOR AN ‘INTERNATIONAL CORRIDOR’ LINKING THAT COUNTRY TO NAKHICHEVAN, IS PART OF THE SAME PANTURKISH EXPANSIONIST AGENDA. AZERBAIJAN DOES NOT HAVE CLEAR TITLE TO NAKHICHEVAN.
5) The Russian Federation, being the legal inheritor of Soviet Russia, which forcibly annexed Nakhichevan to Soviet Azerbaijan, by an illegal and illegitimate treaty, bears particular responsibility for this obvious injustice. According to experts, Moscow Treaty of 1921 is not in accordance with accepted norms of international law.
6) Those powers and instances, who loudly condemned the destruction of Buddhas of Bamiyan, failed to do so in the case of Armenian monuments of Nakhichevan. The strong condemnation by the European parliament was certainly a praiseworthy act. Although UNESCO described these destroyed monuments as part of cultural patrimony of the world, the high instances of this international organization did not exercise their mission in a responsible and timely manner. Are we facing here a case of double standards in international relations?
7) TODAY AND IN THE YEARS TO COME, NAKHICHEVAN ARMENIANS ARE FIRMLY DETERMINED TO PURSUE THE RESTITUTION OF THEIR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS IN NAKHICHEVAN AND RECOVER, UNDER INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION, THEIR ANCESTRAL LANDS, THEIR VILLAGES, THEIR RESIDENCES, THEIR MONUMENTS AND CEMETERIES FOUND ALL OVER THE TERRITORY OF NAKHICHEVAN.
CONSEQUENTLY, WE DEMAND FROM CANADIAN MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, FROM OSCE MINSK GROUP COUNTRIES AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES :
1) To take preventive measures, through effective international diplomacy with the government of Azerbaijan, to stop further destruction of Armenian cultural monuments in Nakhichevan and in Azerbaijan, and respect cultural heritage of other nations in accordance with international conventions.
2) To work effectively towards the restitution of the fundamental rights of Nakhichevan Armenians in Nakhichevan as inseparable from international efforts to establish peace, stability and security in South Caucasus.
WE DEMAND FROM THE RUSSIAN STATE DUMA :
As a precondition for appropriate Armenian-Russian relations, to consider without effect clauses pertaining to Armenia, embodied in the Treaty of Moscow of 1921.
WE DEMAND FROM EXECUTIVE INSTANCES OF UNESCO :
To put into action, with Armenian participation, a special committee for the protection and preservation of Armenian cultural patrimony in Nakhichevan and in Azerbaijan,
On behalf of Nakhijevan Armenian Compatriotic Union of Canada
Antranig Bedrossian, president
Albert Messerkhanian, secretary
Ohanes Gedjakoushian, treasurer
Khatoune Temisjian, counsellor
Montreal, 31 March 2006
N.B. See Map of Nakhichevan attached