Armenia, France and Europe

European microphone receives Valérie Toranian, director of The review of two worldsback from the reportage in Armenia, after the attack on this country by Azerbaijan more than a month ago.

franceinfo: You were in Armenia, what did you see today in this country?

Valeria Toraniano: Armenia, this country that has just been attacked in a completely illegal way, according to the rules of international law, on 13 and 14 September by Azerbaijan, is living in anguish, in anguish, because this attack, which has been stopped quickly enough, it could lead to more military offensives. Today Azerbaijan attacked Armenia in its sovereign territory and occupies 50 square kilometers, they are fortifying their positions. They shot at civilian homes. There is no strategic interest in this part of Armenia. It is the south of Armenia.

And today, the question that arises is an existential question. She is straightforward. They are the Armenians who have lived in these lands for centuries, who were already massacred in the 1915 genocide – that is 100 years ago – they are these Armenians, both from the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, these Armenians from the same territory of Armenia still have the right to live on their land or not? Because the Turkish-Azerbaijani plan, when you look at a map, is simple. That is to say that Armenia is a very small lock that is wedged between, to the east, Azerbaijan, to the west, Turkey. And there, creating this great Turkish space, this Panturkism that would connect from the Bosphorus to Central Asia, all these Turkish-speaking peoples, that’s Erdogan’s great project.

So the question is that. I see people who survive, who have been bombed, who have taken refuge in caves, who are unarmed, who have been abandoned by the whole world.

Who tells you: “Lthe world has forgotten us “…

“The world has forgotten us”the world is completely absorbed by the war in Ukraine which is obviously condemned, and we understand this, because it is a very serious event.

Except Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, buys Azerbaijani gas …

This is what is tragic, I was for my relationship, even in small villages in the south, near the border area, where the military offensive took place. But there is not a small village in Armenia that we do not know the name of Ursula von der Leyen. And people tell you:But what then? Are you going to sacrifice us Armenians for gas? But that’s not possible. Tell us no, tell us that President Macron will do something! ”

September 22, 2022. Armenia, village of Tegh.  Day of mourning.  Artur, a 34-year-old shepherd, was killed in the Azerbaijani bombings of September 13 (the two day war).  His father, his family and all the neighbors came to pay their last respects.  (CHRIS HUBY / THE PICTORIUM / MAXPPP)

You said it, Azerbaijan, the targets are civilians. It is not a strategic question. But there, the Armenians are waiting for France, why does France mean anything in Armenia?

But France means something in Armenia, I’ve been about to say for centuries. But it is true, it is a country that has a civil and cultural closeness, which also hosted the Francophonie in 2018. It is a country very close to us, and they expect from France, this country of human rights, which has welcomed the Armenian exiles after the genocide, this country that still claims to be at the forefront of the struggles for the rights of peoples, etc … to do something for Armenia.

Today President Macron has an important initiative, certainly, that of sending a mission of civilians to the border, to try to normalize this issue of the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan. But that’s not enough at all. What is needed are the interposition forces. We need people who are there. UN peacekeepers, preventing Azerbaijan from launching a new offensive.

If we go back a few decades, this is what should have been done for the wars in Yugoslavia. An interposition force between the Slovenes and the Yugoslav federal army, for example ?

For instance. This is what should also be done in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, I remind you, it is this historical Armenian region which is completely enclosed in Azerbaijan because Stalin gave it to Azerbaijan in 1921 They too tried to go to Nagorno today- Karabakh. We were a delegation, we were a certain number of French people, nobody goes by, journalists don’t go by anymore.

People are increasingly isolated, isolated and terrified, because there are still forces. There are still Russian soldiers, but in the end Russian soldiers are less and less motivated on the Armenian question. They tragically abandoned the Armenians, while there was an alleged military alliance that the moment Armenia is attacked, Russia should react. She didn’t.

So the noose tightens and France, if Emmanuel Macron could initiate a real resolution to protect the Armenian peoples, would be absolutely urgent today. And morally, it is an unspeakable mistake to leave Armenia today.

Armenia and the Armenians need France …

Absolutely, more than ever …

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