19 June, Tuesday

The Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform selects new member


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The next meeting of the Steering Committee of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform was held in round-table format at the office of the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) under the Chairmanship of the Co-Chair of the platform, Doctor of Law, and the Head of the Criminal Science and Legal Expertise Department of Baku State University, Kamil Salimov in Baku, on March 7. 
The members of the Steering Committee, as well as coordinator of Secretariat of the Civil Peace Platform Dilara Afandiyeva and the Public Relations Manager Kanan Zulfugarov attended the event. 
The main agenda of the meeting was about the consideration of the application of Armenian-origin Baku resident, Irina Berchiyan to become a member of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform. 
On March 4, through the peace platform she arrived in Baku like other Armenian-origin Baku residents after 30 years. She was informed about the platform by her Azerbaijani-origin husband. 
Irina left the city where she was born, grew up and got education because of the territorial claims of Armenian separatists to Azerbaijan. Despite the international resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council and the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe Armenia still keeps under occupation of 20% of territory of Azerbaijan – Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. 
Irina got acquainted with the charter of the committee in advance and during the meeting she was able to meet and communicate with other members of the platform in person. 
She said that many Armenians don’t want to join the platform, because they afraid of the reaction of the Armenian government. She stated that it was her dream to reestablish the friendship between Armenian and Azerbaijani people. 
“I remember how we were living in Azerbaijan. We have never felt any kind of national or religious discrimination against us. Everyone lived in peace and harmony. I graduated from my secondary school in Baku. Unfortunately, external forces radiated enmity between two good neighbors. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a planned political action. I would like to make everything as how it was before.”
Irina Berchiyan also mentioned that Azerbaijan is her homeland, because she and her mother were born in Baku. 
“I was fully impressed and remembered all my memories and I cried. During these two nights I walked around the central and old streets of Baku. Frequently, I will visit Baku," she added
The Committee anonymously voted for and elected her as a member of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform.
Meanwhile, the Armenia-Azerbaijan Civil Peace Platform was created in December, 2016 and became a great hope for the societies in the South Caucasus. The platform aimed to end the conflict, solve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully and achieve sustainable peace. 
Natalia Guliyeva
Photo: Gurban Bekirzadeh, Samir Sadikhov

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