Prof Coulie remarks Armenian root of Nagorno-Karabakh in euronews interview
This week, euronews is broadcasting a report on Nagorno-Karabakh including an interview with Professor Bernard Coulie, honorary rector of the Catholic University of Leuven and member of the Europe-Armenia Advisory Council.
“What is really fascinating about Nagorno-Karabakh is that it’s a region which gathers the very traits of the Armenian culture. We are in a region of real Armenian culture, with a Christian background, which is very important. We are in the heart of Armenia, even if not in a political sense – but this is also what is very fascinating”, Coulie commented being interviewed in front of one of the many Armenian churches in Karabakh during a study trip organised by European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA).
Prof Coulie is a renowned expert on Armenian historical linguistics and has been working with historical sources and scriptures for decades. The history of Karabakh is important in so far as this so called “frozen conflict” touches an area of land inhabited by Armenians while an administrative act of Stalin gave the territory to Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh declared its independence in 1991 following the same rules and procedures as Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, but then fell into war until 1994 and still has a disputed status.
This trip was a unique opportunity for a Western TV station to explore a region where EU and UN officials are still not allowed to go, and to gain first-hand insights. “The EU promotes peace and stability in the South Caucasus. In this, it would help enormously if the EU lifted its embargo. EU officials should be allowed to travel to Karabakh and EU programmes should assist the Karabakhi population and prepare them for the time after a solution for the conflict has been found. It is difficult to understand why the EU keeps these restrictions, especially when no similar embargo exists for the other frozen conflict zones in Europe: South Ossetia, Abkhazia or Transnistria. This isolation should come to an end“, comments Michael Kambeck, Secretary General of EuFoA.