Vagy a magyarok a hazugok, vagy az örmények: “Hungarian side gave unequivocal assurances that such a step is excluded”

The Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s Speech at the Extraordinary Session of the National Assembly of Armenia


Honorable President of the National Assembly,

Distinguished Members of Parliament,

I would like to address the following points of this issue:

1. Immediately after the crime committed by Ramil Safarov in 2004, during the trial process, after the sentence, during these years Azerbaijan was making intensive efforts to release and to transfer the criminal.

Regularly getting information about those attempts of Azerbaijan, Armenia continuously drew the attention of Hungarian leadership on all Presidential, Parliament Speaker, Prime Ministerial, Foreign Ministerial, ambassadorial levels to the inadmissibility of transferring the murderer, and many times the Hungarian side gave unequivocal assurances that such a step is excluded. Similar assurances were provided in answer to our inquiries during the second half of August, including on August 22, 23, 24 in the Hungarian Ministries of Foreign and Justice Ministries, as well as in the Parliament. To reaffirm those assurances we submitted a written inquiry to the authorities of Hungary. Due to the delay of the answer to that inquiry, at the initiation of the Armenian side meetings were held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Parliament of Hungary on August 28, during which yet again it was reassured that there was no such thing. Further developments are well-known.

2. Since the first days of the crime the Hungarian authorities were well-aware that Azerbaijan was heroizing that crime and glorifying the criminal, even to the extent of presenting the murderer as an example for the Azeri youth. Naturally during those years the Hungarian authorities were not giving in to the false promises of Azerbaijan that the murderer would continue to bear his penalty after his transfer. The current Hungarian Government, issuing a fabricated Azeri letter it received, pretends that it believed in the false assurances of Azerbaijan.

It is not accidental that the Hungarian Government is not able to give a precise explanation why they so drastically changed their position and why suddenly they so gullibly accepted the lies of Azerbaijan.

3. The current Hungarian Government is also not able to present any convincing argument why it acted secretly, as is claiming Baku. And as the meeting held with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on September 2 shows the co-chairing countries were not aware about that deal either. The condemnation statements by the Co-Chair countries are another proof of that.

4. By that deal the Hungarian Government made a big blow not only to its international image, but also to the Armenian-Hungarian interstate relations, which resulted in the suspension of the Armenian-Hungarian diplomatic relations. The reaction, statements and protests of thousands of Hungarians, religious leaders, NGOs and political structures are the proof of the fact that the Hungarian society is not sharing and is strongly condemning this inadmissible step of the government, shows its support to the Armenian people. Surely the Armenian and Hungarian people who have centuries-old traditions of friendship would be able to overcome that test imposed by the present Hungarian Government.

5. Those demonstrative and vulgar steps of the Azeri Government to release and glorify the murderer have shocked the international community, but not less shocking are the latest reactions from Azerbaijan. In fact Azerbaijan expresses its cynical contempt towards the international law and in general towards the international community. The several assessments about this deal given by various international structures, countries are well-known. I would like to quote from the statement by Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) where specifically extreme disappointment is expressed that in this affair a Council of Europe legal instrument was abusively used.

The international community’s unanimous negative assessment to that infamy with an addressee witnesses that such phenomena can not be tolerated.

6. The Azeri-Hungarian deal has seriously undermined the process of the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, as well as the efforts aimed at the strengthening of regional stability and security. It is another attempt by Azerbaijan to fail the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the efforts of the international community, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs undertaken to that end. The international community should not tolerate the continuation of Azerbaijan’s adventurous policy under the cover of negotiations. Armenia, together with international organizations and partner countries, has exerted and will keep on exerting intensive efforts in that direction.

7. Taking into account all this, we should build our further decisive steps, continue our balanced and constructive policy perceptible by the international community and together with our partners increase our efforts directed to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue through the implementation of the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, to the strengthening of stability and security in the region.