Traditional allies remain loyal to Armenia
By Nikolaos Stelgias
In the shadow of new developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia seeks the international community's support to maintain the presence of Armenian identity and culture in the region Armenians call Artsakh. On the diplomatic front, the task of Armenian diplomats is challenging. They are asked to carry out subtle maneuvers on the Russia-US axis. At the same time, they are asking for more support from the international community.
At a time when the future of Artsakh is being decided, the region's countries, which traditionally have close and friendly relations with Yerevan, are sending messages of support to the suffering Armenians. Orthodox-majority countries, which have usually had turbulent relations with Turkey, are issuing communiqués condemning Azerbaijan's aggression.
Greece was the first European country to condemn Baku's new move in Artsakh. This is despite the economic and energy interests recently bringing Athens closer to Baku. Cyprus, home to the descendants of the survivors of the Armenian genocide, followed it. The House of Representatives unanimously condemned Baku's new steps. Serbia also spoke out against any aggressive rhetoric.
Message from Athens
A communiqué of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, issued on September 20, underlined that "Greece unequivocally condemns Azerbaijan's military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh, which caused the death of many people".
The following was pointed out: "Greece calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities. We have taken note of the developments concerning the concluded ceasefire agreement. We have been informed of the latest developments in the peace agreement. We call on Baku to respect human rights and to guarantee the safety and dignity of the civilian population of Nagorno Karabakh. Humanitarian needs must be met immediately.
"The resolution of the disputes should be done through peaceful means and dialogue," concludes the statement of the Greek diplomats who, according to the latest information from Athens, are providing behind-the-scenes diplomatic support to Armenia, which is facing a difficult situation.
Cyprus also condemns Baku
A few hours after Athens' announcement, the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus followed suit, passing a resolution "strongly condemning the large-scale military attack by Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh".
"This action constitutes a violation of the agreed ceasefire and an escalation of violence on the part of Azerbaijan against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, against whom it has illegally imposed a month-long blockade, violating their basic human rights and cutting off their access to necessities," the communiqué said.
The communiqué says: "And of further concern is Turkey's open support for Azerbaijan's aggression and the Turkish President's statement yesterday to the UN General Assembly. The House of Representatives joins the international community in calling for an immediate end to Azerbaijan's unprovoked and illegal aggression against the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh, compliance with the agreed ceasefire, and de-escalation to allow for the resumption of dialogue to achieve lasting peace and security.
Finally, the written text also emphasizes the following: "In particular, the House of Representatives, recalling its previous relevant resolutions, calls on Azerbaijan to end the humanitarian crisis by immediately lifting the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and restoring the human rights of the people of Nagorno Karabakh by its international obligations and international law. The House of Representatives expresses its full support and solidarity with the suffering Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh and with the friendly Armenian people".
Different message from nationalist Turkish Cypriots
It should be noted that the northern territories of the Republic of Cyprus, an island that opened its doors to Armenians fleeing the Armenian Genocide after 1915. Where thousands of Armenian citizens live today, there are different approaches to the Karabakh issue.
The Turkish Cypriot right, which came to power in recent years with the support of Turkey, supports Azerbaijan on the Karabakh issue.
Unal Ustel, who is known as the "Prime Minister appointed by Ankara" in the northern part of Cyprus, issued a statement saying: "We support the just struggle of brotherly Azerbaijan, which we see as one nation and three states, to eliminate the aggressive attitude towards its citizens within its sovereign borders and the new statuses that are being tried to be imposed. It should be known that Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and the Turkish Cypriot people stand unconditionally and unreservedly by Azerbaijan in this just struggle".
"Serbia supports the territorial integrity of states but calls for avoiding armed conflicts". This was the first reaction of the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to the latest developments in Nagorno-Karabakh.
On Tuesday, at the UN headquarters, Vucic stated that "as always, Serbia supports the territorial integrity of the member countries of the United Nations. I hope that this principle will always be respected", adding that "it is necessary to avoid war".