Brussels 21.10.2020 Armenian President Armen Sarkissian assess Nagorno-Karabach conflict as a regional threat, and accuses Turkey of being the major obstacle to peaceful solution to the conflict.
During his visit to the NATO HQ in Brussels, the President agrees there is no military solution for the conflict:
«We are lucky that we have platform of the OSCE Minsk group, with the three co-charis United States, France and Russia, and I appreciate work of all co-chairs, the Presidents of these three countries, and recent efforts of Russian Federation, and President Putin, and Minister Lavrov» the President of Armenia said.
However he regretted that there was no trilateral meeting possible in Moscow, and the parties had to meet in bilateral talks, and «the war continues in and around Nagorno-Karabach». He aslo added that the military actions against civilians are unacceptable.
The Armenian President has underlined his concerns about the role of NATO ally – Turkey.
«…It looks sometimes that it is no longer conflict with Republic of Artsakh, or people of Nagorno-Karabach and Azerbaijan, but there is a third party as well, supporting Azerbaijan both politically, diplomatically, heavliy militarily, a third party that had supported and brought to the area Islamic terrorists; and unfortunately the third party is a member of NATO» the President of Armenia concluded.
«I belive if Turkey stops being part of the conflict, that will contribute to the cease-fire, and to understanding that there should be peaceful solution. I belive we will reach the seaze-fire there, and hopefully and after that go back to the negotiations at the table of the Minsk group, and finally find a peaceful solution for the conflict» the President underlined.
The hosting meeting Secretary General of NATO said the Alliance does not take side in the conflict.
«It is important for NATO and the international community, that the hostilities end» Jens Stoltenberg said, underlinying that the suffering should stop and the peaceful solution is found. «It is vital that all side now show restraint, observe the seaze-fire and de-escalate. Any targeting of civilians is unacceptable and must stop».
He underlined that the key is to find a sustainable solution.
The efforts of the co-chairs of the Minsk group «remain essential» Stoltenberg concluded.
None of the leaders accpeted the questions after the statements.
Brussels 7.10.2020 “Members, the current military confrontation along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone is of our utmost concern. It is the largest confrontation since 1993-1994. We have been very engaged on this issue” said Josep Borrell, the head of the EU diplomacy, while addressing the Members of the European Parliament.
Fighting in Nagorno Karabakh must stop. Azerbaijan and Armenia need to re-engage in negotiations under OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs auspices, and EU will continue working to help stop hostilities. There can be no military solution and no external interference.@Europarl_ENpic.twitter.com/nqUlTMejGz
“On the day that fighting erupted, I released a statement as High Representative, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, de-escalation and strict observance of the ceasefire. During the past days, I have had several phone calls, separately, with the Armenian and the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers, urging both sides to stop the hostilities and to return to the negotiating table.
“Our position is clear: the fighting must stop. Both sides need to re-engage in meaningful negotiations – which, by the way, have not been very fruitful in the last 30 years – without preconditions, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. There can be no military solution to the conflict, nor external interference. This position was reinforced by the European Council held on the 1st and 2nd of October.
“We have seen extremely worrying reports of a surge in attacks on populated areas, which is taking a deadly toll on civilians. We strongly urge the sides to fully observe their international obligations to protect civilian populations. And, with the resources we have, we have urgently allocated a small amount of money [€500,000] in humanitarian aid for the affected populations.
“In fact, we do not have a lot of information about how the conflict is developing. Detailed information is scarce and there is a lot of fake news.
“OSCE monitoring on the ground remains suspended, so we do not have observers. But what we observe is an increasing amount of disinformation, which is aimed at mobilising the domestic audiences in both countries and could be used to pull regional actors into the conflict. Media reports need, therefore, to be examined with great caution, because we do not have confirmation of some of the news that has been disseminated.
“At this stage, further escalation of the conflict and involvement of regional actors, unhappily, cannot be excluded. This would seriously threaten the stability of the whole region.
“On the 30th of September, I discussed the situation with the Russian Foreign Minister and I also spoke with the Turkish Foreign Minister – the two regional actors that are closer to the conflict. I emphasised the importance of de-escalation, the importance that regional actors refrain from any activity and rhetoric that could inflame things even further.
“I spoke to the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan during the weekend. I stressed that the increase of civilian casualties is unacceptable. I heard from both sides the actions taken by the other side; each one of them blames the other for starting and for attacking civilian populations, not in Nagorno Karabakh itself, not in the region in dispute, but from Armenia to Azerbaijan and from Azerbaijan to Armenia.
“The fighting should stop. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs are going to have meetings this week with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the two countries, and the only way to get out of this situation is that the Minsk Group Co-chairs pushes for immediate negotiations as soon as possible.
“We will continue working with key partners to try to help stop the hostilities, because the only solution is to go back to the negotiating table. But this negotiation table has been open for the last 30 years without any kind of advance. War is not an alternative; we have to push both parties to stop fighting and start negotiating without preconditions. But this is, for the time being, not the case.
“I am sorry that I cannot inform you more about that, because as I said, the information is very much scarce and we have to take care not to disseminate news that has not been confirmed”.
This is not just a war against Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh. It is another war of Erdogan -this time with Azerbaijan- against civilisation. https://t.co/NmExM5e4hF
The intense shelling in the break-away region of Nagorno-Karabakh is taking its toll on the civilian population as fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces showed no signs of halt on October 7.
Clashes between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in the region since September 27 have killed hundreds in the worst escalation of hostilities since 1994 when a truce ended a war that raged for several years. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised territory of Azerbaijan, but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Yerevan since ethnic cleansing erupted during the process of the collapse of the USSR. The enmity started with pogroms of Armenians on February 27, 1988 in Sumgait city, when Azerbaijan was one of the Soviet Republics. Since Sumgait massacre the relations between Armenians and Azerbaijanies have been suffering a profound malaise, producing a “frozen conflict” with unsolved territorial dispute.
Brussels 06.10.2020 Today upon the initiative of the Cyprus MEP Loucas Fourlas (EPP) 48 Member of the European Parliament sent a letter to the head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell calling him to undertake “meaningful actions” versus Azerbaijan aggression on breakaway Republic of Artsakh – Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenia.
(Image above: illustration, European Parliament, Strasbourg).
“We write to you to express our concern for the situation in Artsakh⁄Nagorno-Karabakh and submit the following requests: As of Sunday morning, 26 October, the Artsakh population has been under attack by the Azerbaijani armed forces, in gross violation of international humanitarian law and the logic of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The missile and aerial attacks against the indigenous population in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the capital Stepanakert, forced civilians to hide inside shelters. Schools in Nagorno-Karabakh have been bombed while there are numerous casualties across the region. We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament are appalled by this and call on the Azerbaijani army to immediately stop the aggression against the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh. We call upon the EU High Representative Josep Borrell to take immediate and concrete measures on this direction. We recall and stress that the OSCE investigative mechanism for cease-fire violations which would prevent the sides from blaming each other for initiating deadly attacks, is an absolute necessity for regaining trust and a meaningful negotiation process. We also call you, High Representative Borrell, to exercise high pressure to halt any interference by Turkey, de facto destabilising yet another neighbouring region, the South Caucasus. The disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh is in urgent need of a peaceful solution. Any kind of escalation due to the involvement of third countries, such as Turkey, will rapidly worsen the situation with unpredictable consequences for the whole region. We expect to see meaningful actions to help resolve this conflict from your side very quickly. Yours sincerely, The undersigned Members of the European Parliament:
The Armenian government intends to consider the issue of Yerevan’s recognition of the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said this in parliament on Sunday, reported Russian TASS news agency from Yerevan on September 27.
“Yes, we must consider the issue of recognising the independence of Artsakh, /the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic/, there is such an issue on our agenda. We must discuss this very seriously. We are considering all scenarios for the development of events,” Pashinyan said.
According to the Prime Minister of Armenia, there are battles along the entire contact line.
“Both we and our adversary have tangible losses,” Pashinyan added.
Minsk Group Co-Chairs: We strongly condemn use of force & regret senseless loss of life, including civilians. We appeal to the sides to cease hostilities immediately & to resume negotiations to find sustainable resolution of the conflict > https://t.co/tPWv0mJuIr#NagornoKarabakh
Reacting upon military escalation along Armenian-Azerbaijan border, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) issued a statement on official Twitter account: “Minsk Group Co-Chairs: We strongly condemn use of force & regret senseless loss of life, including civilians. We appeal to the sides to cease hostilities immediately & to resume negotiations to find sustainable resolution of the conflict”.