October 18, 2013 - 13:53 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Former German ambassador to Armenia, Hans-Jochen Schmidt, regrets that the diplomats accredited to Armenia have no right to visit Nagorno Karabakh.
“It’s a sad fact but now I am happy to be here,” Mr. Schmidt told the Artsakh television on the sidelines of an international conference held in Stepanakert.
According to him, to assess the situation, it’s essential to do it on-site. “It’s a matter of security. And if there is an election being held, you had better be here to see the real picture,” he said. “Even the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs do not visit the region frequently enough.”
As to the EU activity, Mr. Schmidt said the organization has its priorities in relations with the countries of the region. “They do not talk about it publicly, but no one denies this fact on an informal level,” he said.
However, he said, the armament race is the most troubling factor. “Unfortunately, Azerbaijan has wider possibilities and it’s inadmissible that the international community did not show a strong reaction to its $1bn defense contract with Israel. The purchase of weaponry from Russia is also alarming. It will not contribute to the resolution of the Karabakh conflict,” Mr. Schmidt said.
Addressing the conference on Artsakh national liberation war, he reminded that in 1920s Armenians made 90% of the population of Nagorno Karabakh, however, as a result of the soviet rule, it was reduced to 72%.
The German diplomat also emphasized that Baku uses the refugees as a tool of pressure and prevents their integration into the society.
The conference brought together participants from Artsakh, Armenia, Russia, France, Germany, UK, Austria, Belgium, Greece and other countries.