Basque MP’s pro-Armenian separatist stance exposes Spain's double standards
    The boomerang effect cannot be ignored

    ANALYTICS  29 May 2024 - 12:49

    Matanat Nasibova

    Armenia's revanchist aspirations, strange as it may seem, find support in a number of states, as well as among some foreign politicians. Thus, the notorious Turkophobe, Basque politician, deputy of the lower house of the Spanish parliament Jon Iñarritu voiced provocative statements against Azerbaijan. In a recent interview with Armenian media, he questioned the sincerity of Azerbaijan's intentions in demarcating the border.

    “Azerbaijan's significant investment in promoting Western Azerbaijan, as it has done in the past with the “caviar diplomacy” scheme, raises concerns about the sincerity of its intentions. Such actions can undermine the peace process by creating and perpetuating false narratives that fuel tensions and do not address them,” Iñarritu said. He also unjustifiably criticized Azerbaijan over the arrest of separatist leaders, adding “Baku's discriminatory policy towards Armenians”.

    By the way, back in March of this year, addressing the country's parliament, Iñarritu proposed to “introduce targeted sanctions against those individuals or organizations responsible for the destruction of the Armenian historical and cultural heritage of Karabakh”. And then he immediately annoyed that no sanctions were ever imposed on Azerbaijan because of the “ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population of Karabakh in 2020-2023.”

    And now he is, in fact, acting as an advocate for Armenians. By the way, two years ago, Armenian separatist friends even put a medal around Iñarritu's neck for his “good job.” Note that in 2022, by order of Araik Harutyunyan, the leader of the separatist entity in Karabakh, Iñarritu was awarded the “Mkhitar Gosh" medal during his visit to Armenia.

    “I was honored to receive the “Mkhitar Gosh” medal from the “Republic of Artsakh” (hereinafter quotation marks - Ed.). We will continue to defend the right of Armenians to live in “Artsakh” - along with the need for international recognition,” Iñarritu wrote at the time on his X account. In the record of Iñarritu there is also the following fact. In November 2020, the Spanish Congress passed his motion to send humanitarian aid to Karabakh and stop selling weapons to Azerbaijan.

    On the other hand, the fact that the Basque MP supports Armenian separatism in Azerbaijan is not surprising, given the attempts of the Spanish region of the Basque Country (País Vasco) to secede from Spain. Back in 2016, the results of a survey conducted in the autonomous community showed that the majority of Basque Country residents are in favor of holding a referendum on independence from Spain. Thus, in the latest Euskobarómetro survey, 59 per cent of respondents said that they support this idea.

    Therefore, everything is clear with Iñarritu's position. Rather, questions to the Spanish Congress itself, which encourages separatist manifestations against Azerbaijan. This is evidenced by the unanimous statement adopted in October 2022 by the Congress of Spain “On Supporting Armenians Against Azerbaijani Aggression of September 13, 2022”. Provocative statements of other Spanish MPs fit into the same context. For example, Marta Rošić, who in July 2020 made anti-Azerbaijani statements, calling on the international community to respond to Baku's “aggression”.

    “Amid the growing violence on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan these days, I express my support to my colleagues of the ‘Artsakh Republic’. The international community, for the sake of protecting human rights and the right to self-determination, must respond to Azerbaijan's aggression,” Marta Rošić posted at the time on her X account.

    It would seem that the Spanish Congress should have taken an unambiguous position in support of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, given the fact that Spain itself is often cracking at the seams. After all, as is known, not only Catalonia and the Basque Country, but also Occitania, Valencia, Galicia, Andalusia and Aragon want to secede from Spain. At the same time, Azerbaijan never allows any discrepancies in its position and always supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Spain within its internationally recognized borders.

    Baku strongly stated that unilateral attempts to violate the territorial integrity of Spain against the will of the people and the central government, accompanied by violation of the Constitution and laws of this country, are unacceptable. And what is Madrid's response? Here is another example of unfriendly policy towards us. In August last year, the Spanish Embassy in Russia announced the provision of assistance to Armenian separatists in Karabakh. The corresponding publication was posted on the embassy's official X account and was illustrated with the “Karabakh separatists’ flag”, which caused Azerbaijan's justified discontent.

    In other words, by supporting separatism in the territory of Azerbaijan, certain forces in Spain demonstrated not only double standards, but also unscrupulousness and hypocrisy. And this is not the first case when double standards are applied to Azerbaijan on the Iberian Peninsula. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly spoken about it. Thus, last year in an interview with Euronews TV channel the head of state, speaking about the policy of double standards, asked why Spain does not allow Catalonia to have a referendum though there are five or six million (Catalans - ed.)? They don't have their own state unlike Armenians, which have a state next door. Why should we tolerate  separatism? We will not,” Ilham Aliyev emphasized.

    Given the pockets of separatism in Spain, Madrid's support for Armenian "miatsum" poses a dangerous challenge for Europe itself. The boomerang effect cannot be ignored.


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