Foreign Minister: Armenia is ready to overcome the atmosphere of enmity
The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued an extensive statement on the anniversary of the signing of the trilateral agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Karabakh. It concerns the implementation of the provisions of the agreement signed by the leaders of Armenia. Azerbaijan and Russia, and contains Armenia’s assessment of the current situation.
Main theses of the statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
- One year since the signing of armistice with Azerbaijan: Pashinyan on the post-war realities
- ECHR ruling: Azerbaijan violated the right to life of Armenian prisoners
- Why is Azerbaijani language taught in Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenian in Azerbaijan?
Who started the war
The statement of the Foreign Ministry says that “the aggression against Artsakh and its people” was unleashed on September 27, 2020, by Azerbaijan “with the direct participation of Turkey and with the involvement of foreign terrorist fighters”.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry claims that the 44-day war was accompanied by “large-scale violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by Azerbaijan, a deliberate attack on civilian infrastructure and cultural monuments, with the use of prohibited weapons and other war crimes”.
Consequences of war
The statement says that as a result of the second Karabakh war, a number of areas of the unrecognized NKR were subjected to ethnic cleansing, and the population became a victim of war crimes:
“40,000 people were deprived of their homes and property, more than 17,000 civilian objects and infrastructure were destroyed, hundreds of civilians were killed or injured, and the fate of many is still unknown”.
Implementation of the trilateral agreement
The Armenian side claims that it has complied with all the provisions of the trilateral statement and accuses Azerbaijan of violating its obligations:
“Just a month after the signing of the trilateral statement, contrary to the commitments to remain in the positions held at the time of signing, the Azerbaijani armed forces invaded the villages of Khtsaberd and Khin Tager in the Hadrut region of Artsakh, killing and capturing Armenian soldiers.
Moreover, after the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the regions indicated in the document, the Azerbaijani side responded by penetrating and continuing illegal deployment of its armed forces in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia”.
The statement says that Azerbaijan has not yet complied with the 8th paragraph of the November 9 statement, “holding numerous Armenian prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees, which is a gross violation of not only the trilateral statement but also the international humanitarian law”.
Another accusation concerns “the violation of the ceasefire by the Azerbaijani armed forces”. According to the document, they are of regular nature and are accompanied not only by strikes against Armenian military positions but also against peaceful settlements and civilians.
Opening of the corridor
The Armenian side believes that Azerbaijan deliberately distorts and arbitrarily interprets “the provisions of the trilateral statements of November 9, 2020. and January 11, 2021. on the unblocking of infrastructures in the region, Azerbaijan exaggerates the idea of the so-called “corridor” and threatens to use force”.
This refers to the Zangezur corridor – the road connecting Azerbaijan with its exclave Nakhichevan through the Syunik region of Armenia.
The Armenian authorities insist that they are ready to unblock the roads, but they must remain under the sovereign control of the country. And this meets the requirements of the statement, which does not mention “corridors”, it only talks about unblocking communications.
Guaranteeing the right to life
The Armenian Foreign Ministry believes that the Azerbaijani side is pursuing “a policy of Armenophobia, the Armenian historical and cultural heritage is being destroyed and desecrated”. At the same time, Azerbaijan hinders the access of international humanitarian organizations to the territory of the unrecognized NKR.
All this, as the statement says, “testifies to the fact that guaranteeing the right of the Armenians of Artsakh to a safe and dignified life in their native land is impossible under the jurisdiction or control of Azerbaijan”.
The document emphasizes that “the realities formed as a result of the use of force by Azerbaijan”, that is, military actions in Karabakh, cannot become the basis for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict:
“Azerbaijan’s statements that as a result of the war, not only the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict but also Nagorno-Karabakh no longer exist in the international arena, are also a violation of the trilateral statement of November 9, since, in it, Nagorno-Karabakh is presented as a territorial unit”.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry states that in order to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region, the following is necessary:
- urgent settlement of humanitarian problems, first of all, the return of all prisoners of war, hostages, and other detainees, the disclosure of the fate of the missing and the investigation of cases of enforced disappearances,
- protection of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage,
- full restoration of the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Armenian side believes that a long-term settlement of the conflict is possible only through peaceful negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. This would encompass the following:
- clarification of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh,
- ensuring the safe return of displaced Armenians to their settlements throughout NK,
- realization of the right of the people of NK “to live freely and with dignity in their homeland on the basis of equality and the right of peoples to self-determination
Armenia’s readiness to overcome the atmosphere of enmity
At the end of the statement, it is said that Armenia is ready to make efforts
- to defuse the situation in the region,
- overcome the atmosphere of enmity step by step,
- begin an era of stability and peaceful development in the region.
“At the same time, for the effectiveness of the process, it is necessary for Azerbaijan to also take a constructive position, abandonmits policy of Armenophobia, aggressive rhetoric and actions”.