Newsletter No 21

Joint letter to the Queen and Campaign Against  Sale of Arms to Turkey

Dear Members of the Armenian community in the United Kingdom,

Thank you for your continued support of ANC UK in our efforts to influence and guide UK policy on the issue of Artsakh and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. A warm welcome to those of you who have recently signed up to our newsletter.

Joint Letter and Campaign Against UK Arms sale to Turkey

The Armenian National Committee UK, the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and the Kurdish Assembly of Britain joined forces once again and sent a letter to the Secretary of State for International Development expressing deep concern and dismay at HM Government’s recent decision to lift all restrictions on arms exports to the Republic of Turkey in contradiction of multiple provisions of the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria. This is a decision that will exacerbate suffering for Turkey’s neighbours and will further destabilise the region. Arming an aggressive and authoritarian actor undermines Britain’s reputation as a defender of democracy, human rights, and international law, particularly at a time when Britain’s stance on Russia is principled and clear.

Letter Sent to Her Majesty the Queen

The Armenian National Committees representing their respective communities in four Commonwealth countries have sent a joint letter to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of Azerbaijan’s most recent manifestation of caviar diplomacy, attempting to “gift their way to whitewashing an appalling human rights record” in order to win over Western leaders and public opinion.

The letter––sent by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU), the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), the Armenian National Committee of New Zealand (ANC-NZ) and the Armenian National Committee of the United Kingdom (ANC-UK)––congratulated Her Majesty on her Platinum Jubilee, before raising concerns after a horse named ‘Karabakh Glory’ was recently presented to the Queen by members of the Azerbaijani Equestrian Federation on behalf of their country’s Dictator-President Ilham Aliyev.

You can see the letter here


ANC UK Hosts a Meeting with Representatives of the Cypriot and Kurdish Communities

On 5 June, the Armenian National Committee UK hosted a meeting with the representatives of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK: Mr Christos Karaolis and Christos Tuton and the Kurdish Assembly of Britain Elif Sarican the Navasartian Centre in London. The representatives of the Armenian, Cypriot and Kurdish communities provided updates on their work and discussed current and future cooperation strategies, both short and long-term. We consider that the meeting was a great success.

Among other topics, Turkey’s continued gross violations of international law in the region were discussed. Representatives of all three communities agreed that it is time for the United Kingdom to hold Turkey to account for these crimes.

The meeting was also attended by the chairperson of the Armenian Community Council and Armenian Youth Federation as well as two other members of the ANC UK. We firmly hope and believe that cooperation between our communities is vital to amplify our voices, be heard and exert pressure to bring peace to the region.

Baroness Cox Questions British Government on their Lack of Action against Azerbaijan’s Aggression and War Crimes

On 18 May 2022, Baroness Cox raised concerns in the House of Lords in respect of the British government’s upholding of democracy given the “tragic situations in Armenia and the historic Armenian land of Nagorno-Karabakh”. She highlighted that “Azerbaijan has repeatedly failed to keep the peace agreement, which requires the release of all prisoners of war”. While Armenia has released all its Azerbaijani prisoners, many Armenians still remain in captivity despite the ceasefire agreement being signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 9 November 2020. Moreover, there is strong evidence of humiliating torture by the Azeri captors.

Baroness Cox also flagged that there are continuing reports of Azeri military offensives in Armenia itself, against Armenian villages in Syunik province, which she visited in April. The fate of hundreds of Christian monuments and ancient cultural sites is also in danger as they are now under Azeri control, with some of them having been destroyed already. This constitutes a war crime under international law.

Finally, Baroness Cox pointed that the “United Kingdom’s consistent failure to call Azerbaijan to account could be seen as complicity. There must be no impunity for the most serious international crimes. Perpetrators of atrocities must be held to account. I hope very much that the Government will no longer turn what seems to be a deaf ear to the suffering of the Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia itself, and of the people of Nigeria”.

We thank Baroness Cox for bringing up these immediate issues to the Government’s attention and sincerely hope that the Government indeed hears and acts upon her calls.

Baroness Cox’s full speech can be found here:

Lord Ahmad’s (Minister of State – Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) response to Baroness Cox regarding the inaction of the British Government on against Azerbaijan’s acts of aggression and war crimes towards the Armenian people of Artsakh has, in turn, been unacceptable. He pointed that “The UK position when it comes to Azerbaijan and Armenia is that there must be respect for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan”. We would like to point to Lord Ahmad that Artsakh has been an integral part of historic Armenia and that the self-determination of the people of Artsakh should be respected as the self-determination of a state is decided by its people under international law.

Lord Alton Questions the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

Lord Alton questioned the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office regarding the UNESCO mission to document Armenian and Azerbaijan heritage in Artsakh. His question was as follows:

“To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to UNESCO and the government of Azerbaijan to allow a UNESCO mission unimpeded access to document Armenian and Azerbaijan heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh as part of a reconciliation measures.”

The question was answered by Lord Ahmad, Minister of State – Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Lord Ahmad stated the following:
“The UK Government continues to raise the importance of the protection of all cultural heritage sites in Nagorno-Karabakh with both the Government of Azerbaijan and the Government of Armenia and is deeply concerned by reports that both parties have destroyed cultural heritage. We continue to press both sides to ensure UNESCO is able to undertake its crucial work in support of historical and cultural heritage. At this stage, we have not made direct representations to UNESCO regarding their efforts to secure access to Nagorno-Karabakh.”

We ask that the UK Government takes active steps to help preserve the cultural heritage of Artsakh. As mentioned in the UNESCO Declaration Concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage of 2003, cultural heritage is an important component of the cultural identity of communities, groups and individuals as well as of social cohesion. The intention destruction can have adverse effects on human dignity and human rights. During the 2020 war and upon the ceasefire of 9 November 2020 which resulted in Azerbaijan gaining control over 1,456 monuments in Artsakh, there has been considerable deliberate damage caused by Azerbaijan to Armenian cultural heritage. This has included shelling, destruction, damage to and the changing of the function of churches and cemeteries. Steps must be taken urgently to stop these violations by Azerbaijan.

Afternoon Tea at the House of Lords

On 5th of May, Baroness Cox hosted an afternoon tea at the House of Lords as a fundraiser for ANC UK. Ambassador Nersesyan together with 30 community members had a chance to have a memorable champagne afternoon tea at the House of Lords.

Baroness Cox was presented with an Angel of Artsakh award for her lifetime dedication to Artsakh. We would like to give a big thank you to all those that attended and all those that continue to support ANC UK.

What Can You Do To Help?

Please write to your MP and urge them to ask the government to recognise the Armenian Genocide:

Please give today to help our campaigns

ANC UK has so far worked in volunteering capacity, campaigning on behalf of the Armenian community, continuously pushing the UK government on the issues of Artsakh and the Armenian Genocide, helping remove pro-Azeri propaganda in London, and providing direct assistance to the officers and members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Armenia.

As we move into the next phase of our campaigning, we need our community’s help to ensure we can gain the support of more parliamentarians. This means supporting the campaign by contacting your MPs and donating to ANC UK to help us hire a much-needed permanent staff member.

With everything that we’ve all been through and all that lies ahead, we need your faith, your friendship, and financial generosity more than ever before

Donate Now





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