The Belgian House of Representatives (Federal Parliament) adopted a resolution Friday calling for the immediate withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the Nagorno Karabakh region, conquered during the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan that ended with a Russia-brokered agreement on Nov. 10.
The resolution, passed with 130 votes in favor and 12 abstentions, states that in addition to the right to self-determination of the Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), the principle of non-use of force, the other basic principle of the OSCE Minsk group, was violated by Azerbaijan.
As the final status of Artsakh was not mentioned in the ceasefire declaration signed on November 10, the Chamber calls on the Belgian government to support the resumption of the negotiations, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, in order to find a compromise on the final status of Nagorno Karabakh, taking mainly into account the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh.
The Chamber calls on the Belgian government to demand that Turkey no longer interferes militarily in the conflict and stops playing a destabilizing role in the Caucasus region. According to the resolution, any interference by Turkey in the ceasefire-monitoring mission will be seen as dangerous for the safety of the local population. Such mechanism is meant to be implemented within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.
Turkey has rejected the resolution. Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy Friday said the resolution related to Nagorno-Karabakh adopted by Belgium's House of Representatives is inaccurate, false and follows an Armenian agenda. "Resolution is neither historical, legal nor compatible with the facts in the field. We reject this decision, which includes baseless allegations and accusations against Turkey," he said.
French Senate adopts resolution
The Belgian parliament resolution came after similar resolutions were adopted by the French parliament and senate. French Senate on November 25 adopted a resolution "On the need to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh", with 305 deputies voting in favor with only one 'against'.
The resolution calls on the French government to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh and provide large-scale support to the population of Karabakh. It also talks about the need to create an international commission to investigate war crimes committed against the peaceful population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The rapporteur on the resolution, Senator Bruno Retayo, said during his speech that the conflict ceased to be local after the massive and decisive support of the Turkish President, who is pursuing an expansionist, neo-Ottoman and Islamist policy: "I am quoting exactly the words of Erdogan: 'Nagorno-Karabakh has become a country of Islam and returned to the shadow of the crescent.'"
Not surprisingly, Turkey's Foreign Ministry condemned the resolution and said: "This decision of the French Senate clearly testifies why the work of the OSCE Minsk Group, being carried out by the co-chairs, who must remain neutral, have been unable to resolve this issue yet.
"The call of the French Senate to Azerbaijan to leave its territories, which it liberated from occupation, demonstrates absurd, biased attitude without any facts and must not be taken seriously," the ministry said, adding: "We want France to take a constructive position for stabilization of the region by making the right conclusions."The French Parliament Resolution
The French Parliament followed the French Senate on December 4 by passing a resolution calling for the need to recognize Nagorno Karabakh as an independent state. The vote for the resolution passed, yet again, near-unanimously, with 188 votes for, 3 against, and 16 abstaining.
It also calls on France and its European partners to re-evaluate Turkey's membership process to the EU due to Ankara's role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves le Drian denounced the passing of the resolution before the Parliament convened for a vote and noted that if such a decision was made then France would remove itself as a co-chair of the Minsk Group.
Both resolutions are non-binding in nature, but this decision adds pressure on the French government to take action and formally recognize Nagorno Karabakh as an independent state.
Speaker of the Turkish parliament called the resolution absurd. "If it is that easy to be recognized as a state, it must be as easy to no longer be a state. The French National Assembly has lost its attribute of being a serious addressee as a parliament," Mustafa Sentop said in a statement.
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