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Will Karabakh separatist get awarded in US Congress?

17:10 12-03-2018
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The U.S. Congress is about to get embarrassed by letting itself be used to create fake news and lend legitimacy to a controversial situation, reports commenting on the beginning of the trip of the leader of the Karabakh separatists Bako Sahakyan to the United States.

'On Wednesday (March 14) Bako Sahakyan, the self-proclaimed 'president' of a fictional country (i.e. 'Nagorno-Karabakh Republic' or 'NKR' - Ed) has scheduled an event at the U.S. Capitol to speak and receive an unidentified award. The event’s invitation bills it as a 'Congressional reception' and, though no actual Members are listed, the invitation says they are 'invited to offer remarks,' says the publication.

Further, ModernDiplomacy points to the facts: 'NKR' is actually the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan that Armenia seized in a 1988-1994 war. The Nagorno-Karabakh region and nearby territories have belonged to Azerbaijan since antiquity. In 1988, Armenia attacked. Six years later when a ceasefire was declared, the region – which accounts for 20 per cent of Azerbaijan’s land mass – was in the hands of Armenians and Armenian-backed separatists.

...'NKR' is not recognised by a single nation on earth. Every international body from the United Nations on down agrees that Nagorno-Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan and was illegally seized by Armenia, which continues to run the region.'

According to the publication, Armenia cannot make a factual case that 'NKR' is a legitimate country, and, therefore, its only remaining strategy is 'to blur the facts': 'Like a child or a politician that believes repeating a lie enough times makes it true, Armenia thinks that if it peddles the fiction of an 'Artsakh' nation enough it will eventually become fact.'

Wednesday’s event with Sahakyan at the Capitol is the latest attempt to build that fiction. This time, organisers of the event appear to be trying to co-opt the power – or at least the image – of the world’s most important deliberative body, the U.S. Congress.

'NKR' may be a fictional country, continues the publication, but its self-styled 'president,' Bako Sahakyan, is a real obstacle to any peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and has a real history of blood.

'...Thanks to the internet, we live in an era when any actors can create fake-news events that carry an air of legitimacy, spread rapidly around the world and can have real consequences. It’s uncertain so far what governments and countries can do to stop this tide of lies. But one thing that can be done is to deny these bad actors access to the sacred symbols of democracy and legitimacy they seek to co-opt. No matter how influential the Armenian lobby may be, the U.S. Congress should not allow bogus politicians and their fake-news events to occur under its roof and patronage,' the publication notes.

Recall that the other day the Yerevan newspaper Zhamanak reported that in the near future the 'president' of the 'NKR' Bako Sahakyan will pay a 'working visit' to the United States, where meetings with members of the Senate and House of Representatives, meetings with experts are planned, as well as representatives of the Armenian community.