Ashot Ghoulyan's Welcome Speech at the Special Sitting of the Inter-Parliamentary Committe on Cooperation between the Republic of Artsakh National Assembly and the Republic of Armenia National Assembly
18 January 2020


Welcome Speech

Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Cooperation between the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and the National Assembly of the Artsakh Republic Sitting

(Yerevan, January 18, 2020)


Honorable President of the Republic of Armenia

National Assembly,

Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen!


In the nearly 24-year history of Armenia-Artsakh inter-parliamentary cooperation today's sitting is special with its agenda, in its meaning, the practical manifestation of a joint stance on pan-Armenian issues and the pursuit of a coordinated policy. At a regular sitting of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee held in Stepanakert a month ago, we discussed the format of discussions on the January 13-19, 1990 massacres of the Armenian population in Baku. I think, in this regard, the joint sitting of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee is an effective platform for presenting these events from different perspectives and comparing the positions of the two parliaments.

Therefore, on behalf of the Republic of Artsakh Parliament I would like to thank Mr. Ararat Mirzoyan, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, and all our colleagues in the Parliament for organizing the joint sitting of the two legislative bodies on this important agenda.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

No matter how glorious victories are in the history of our people, equally important are pages worth remembering and commemorating. That's an integral part of our history that may have often been a consequence of our sincere neighboring, full confidence in the neighbor and humanity.

When examining 30-year-old crime details a simple and human question arises «how could the same people be massacred three times in one city the foundation of which has been laid with its own hands. And there is only one answer - the creative Armenian did not kill humanity within himself, he did not leave his legacy, overcoming the pain that he experienced every time.

What happened in Baku in January 1990 is a crime against humanity organized and perpetrated by the neighboring state authorities. For over a week, Armenians in Baku have been subjected to humiliation, torture and massacre in their homes, workplaces, educational and other institutions, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands displaced and deported. It was clear from the very beginning that what had happened would be concealed by the authorities in the neighboring country in every possible way. These actions were part of a comprehensive policy of suppressing the Artsakh Armenians who fought for freedom in 1988, that took place in February 1988 in Sumgait, in November in Gandzak-Kirovabad and in 1990 in Baku.

Unfortunately, 30 years later Azerbaijan still continues to avoid responsibility for its past, by moving the arrows of the cruel January days to another direction and presenting themselves as victims. Armenophobia remains a priority of Azerbaijan's state policy, even in the fields of education, science, sports and culture. In recent days, we have witnessed another manifestation of this when an Azerbaijani singer refused to go on stage with an Armenian singer. What is this, if not the result of a state-sponsored xenophobic policy?

Against the backdrop of persistent efforts to present Baku as an intercultural capital, at the same time the cultural monuments that are an inheritance of Armenians and other nations are muted. It is no coincidence that not only hundreds of thousands of Armenians were victims of the tragic days of January 1990, but also Armenian cultural values in Baku, one of which the Grigor Lusavorich Church, was set on fire just days before the Baku massacre, and thousands of khachkars and Armenian graves were simply destroyed.

Dear Colleagues

Although the crime of the late 20th century has been recorded and condemned by the international community, however, its organizers and implementers have not been subjected to any legal liability.

On the other hand, people who have been deported from Azerbaijan and found asylum in Artsakh have never received international status and support. And Artsakh, which was on the brink of war and living in scarce conditions, together with the motherland, has assumed the responsibility of accepting and providing living conditions for the Azerbaijani Armenians.

The National Assembly of the Artsakh Republic has always voiced this, called on the international community, human rights organizations and parliamentary bodies to give a legal assessment of what happened and to prevent the anti-Armenian policy implemented at the state level in Azerbaijan.

As in previous years, today we reaffirm, that the Republic of Artsakh will be consistent with the demand to bring to responsibility the organizers and perpetrators of the genocide perpetrated against Armenians in different areas of Azerbaijan.

I am convinced that at that joint sitting we will not only be able to address all the circumstances of the January 1990 massacres but also to hear from those who have survived those cruel days and are still waiting for the restoration of justice and the punishment of criminals.

Bowing to the memory of our innocent victims, I wish today's sitting an effective process.

Thank you.