Breakthrough in Karabakh-Basque relations
The Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Minister, Karen Mirzoyan, together with European Friends of Armenia’s Director Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, completed a one-week mission to the Basque Country this week.
The visit, scheduled between September 10 and September 16, included meetings with Basque high officials, including the President of the Basque Parliament, Ms. Bakartxo Tejeria Otermin and other leaders, both at provincial and local level.
On Friday, September 12, the Basque regional parliament became the first one in the European Union to recognize the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh, following several US states and Australia’s New South Wales.
During Friday’s meeting at the Basque Parliament in Vitoria, no political party opposed the motion.
“We had a clear will to reach an agreement on this subject. What we want is very simple; we want the conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh to be solved. We understand that all people have the right to self-determination and determine their future in a democratic way. We as Basques recognize all peoples and of course Nagorno-Karabakh,” says Maria Eugenia Arrizabalaga the ruling PNV MP in charge of the dossier.
Prior to the adopted motion, the Gipuzkoa province President Martin Garitano proclaimed his recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, while meeting with Mr Mirzoyan in San Sebastian.
“The suffering of these people has to end and they deserve a free and independent country that guarantees their future as a state, and the full respect of their culture and language,” Mr Garitano said.
Mr Mirzoyan and EuFoA director, additionally met with mayors of San Sebastian, Tolosa and Gernika, discussing possible future collaborations, including also cultural exchanges between Stepanakert, Shushi and the respective cities.
On Saturday, 13 September, Mr Mirzoyan signed an agreement of cooperation and recognition with the Mayor of San Sebastian, Mr Juan Carlos Izagirre, bringing the city of San Sebastian and Nagorno-Karabakh closer together and defining concrete fields of cooperation for joint projects.
“Regular contacts shall be maintained between the cities and relevant departments to facilitate consultations on the exchanges and cooperation as well as matters of common concerns,” the agreement reads.
The successful and productive visit was concluded on Tuesday, September 16.
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