Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of the UK House of Lords and long-standing friend of Armenia, has sent a video message to the Armenian people urging them to stand firm in support of their homeland despite the political powers arrayed against them.
Lady Cox is the founder president of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), a strategic partner of Christian Solidarity International (CSI).
Cox says she is “deeply saddened” by reports that the Republic of Armenia is being pressured by international powers to accept Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Nagorno Karabakh, or Artsakh.
“In return for a so-called peace treaty and trade agreement, the people of Artsakh – who have already endured so much suffering – would be expected to surrender their international right of self-determination. Over 120,000 indigenous Armenians would become citizens of an anti-Armenian authoritarian state, with an appalling track record of human rights violations.”
Since 2020, Azeri military forces have advanced into the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia, Cox says, and there are frequent reports of new military incursions.
With the blockade of the Lachin corridor in December 2022, a humanitarian catastrophe is being played out within Nagorno Karabakh, she says, and its indigenous Armenian Christian population faces the increasing possibility of ethnic and religious cleansing from their historic lands.
“…We must face the disturbing possibility that the Armenian Genocide never ended. There are those who want to complete it, and those who are unable – or unwilling – to stop it. It is quite possible that what is done to Artsakh will also, in time, be done to the Republic of Armenia,” Cox warns.
“If the treaty now being negotiated between Azerbaijan and Armenia results in the surrender of Artsakh – then lasting peace cannot be guaranteed.”
Referencing her first visit to Armenia over 30 years ago, she says that the struggle for Nagorno Karabakh became the catalyst for independence of the Republic of Armenia. “To this day, it remains an important symbol of hope and unity among all Armenians, across every part of the nation and diaspora.”
“At this critical moment in your great nation’s history, it is my hope and prayer that all Armenians – across every part of the nation and diaspora – will continue to uphold the struggle for Artsakh as a symbol of unity.”
“My dear friends, thank you for holding a frontline of faith and freedom for the rest of the world.”