Greece on Sunday condemned the loss of life and said it was ready to assist efforts to ease tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), but it fell short of expressing its full support for the Armenian cause.
The Greek Foreign Ministry posted the following announcement on its Twitter page after the telephone conversation between the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Armenia Nikos Dendias and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on Sunday evening.
In ☎️call w/ #Armenia FM @ZMnatsakanyan,FM @NikosDendias reaffirmed strong bonds of friendship b/w 🇬🇷&🇦🇲.Condemned loss of lives& expressed 🇬🇷's readiness to assist efforts for immediate de-escalation in #NagornoKarabakh/Τηλ.συνομιλία ΥΠΕΞ Ν.Δένδια με ΥΠΕΞ Αρμενίας@MFAofArmenia
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) September 27, 2020
In a telephone call with Armenian FM Mnatsakanyan, FM Dendias reaffirmed the strong bonds of friendship between Greece and Armenia, condemned loss of lives, and expressed Greece’s readiness to assist efforts for immediate de-escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the statement said.
“We have been monitoring with great concern the escalating tension in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has resulted in civilian casualties.
“We call on all sides to exercise restraint, cease hostilities immediately and return to the negotiation table in the context of the Minsk Group,” the Foreign Ministry said.
It added that the “peaceful resolution of disputes within the context of international law is the only path to regional security and stability. We expect every action and every statement by the sides involved and by third parties to adhere to this rationale, so as not to exacerbate tensions.”
Many Greek social media users condemned what they describe as the “sitting on the fence” approach by Athens.
They point that the press release by the Foreign Ministry has failed to express explicit support for the Armenian people, with whom Greeks have had very close, historical ties over many centuries.
Greeks have joined Armenians demanding justice and the international recognition of the genocide that massacred millions of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians. One such occasion was the huge Los Angeles rally in 2018.
To this day, Turkey is ferociously rejecting the term genocide to describe the historical events that are compared to a holocaust.
Some also point out that Greece should have sided with Armenia as its “eternal enemy” – Turkey – has stated it is assisting Azerbaijan, claiming that Armenia is the actual aggressor.
“Thinking that it would benefit from the deadlock, Armenia again crossed the line, (but) this time got its response in the field. We are with our brother Azerbaijan on the field and in diplomacy,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.