Armenia Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan

YEREVAN — Armenia has again called on the international community to send a fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor blocked by Azerbaijan for the past month.

Speaking at a virtual international conference organized by India, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said world powers should pressure Baku to end the inhuman blockade that has led to severe shortages of basic goods in Karabakh and brought the economic life there to a standstill.

“Azerbaijan’s continued provocations and aggressive actions show that the lack of adequate accountability mechanisms only encourages Azerbaijan to question the determination and willingness of the international community to take action,” he said.

“As a landlocked developing country, Armenia is a long-standing advocate of promoting inclusive and equitable regional and cross-border connectivity in our region and beyond, which would unlock the trade and transit potential of the South Caucasus”,  Mirzoyan said.

“Efficient cooperation between the landlocked and transit countries and unblocking of all regional transport communications is key to removing political barriers to the free movement of people, goods and services, particularly, in times of global recession and in terms of realization of the economic and social rights of all peoples,” Minister Mirzoyan said.

“In this regard, we are interested in advancing cooperation within the framework of North-South connectivity, as well as the Persian Gulf – the Black Sea international transport corridor. Armenia considers India’s potential and prospective role for these projects as quite significant,” he added.

“As we speak about connectivity and free movement of people, for more than a month already the entire world has witnessed a flagrant violation of these principles: under made-up ecological concerns, a group of Azerbaijani government agents has been blocking the Lachin corridor – the only lifeline connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia and to the rest of the world. By discrediting the global environmental agenda and violating the right to free movement, Azerbaijan keeps hostage 120,000 Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, including 30,000 kids and several thousands of disabled persons. Because of the Azerbaijani unlawful blockade, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh today face a humanitarian catastrophe. There is an acute shortage of essential goods, food and medicine. The danger of malnutrition, especially child malnutrition is tangible. Hundreds of families left on different sides of the Azerbaijani blockade remain separated,” Ararat Mirzoyan stated.

He appreciated the unequivocal calls by the international community and particularly by the majority of the UN Security Council members during the urgent meeting of the UN SC held on December 20, 2022, to end the blockade and ensure access to Nagorno-Karabakh for international organizations.

“Currently, concrete pressure on Azerbaijan from our international partners, including G-20 members, is needed with the aim of ending the inhumane siege of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and returning to the negotiation table,” the Foreign Minister said.

“We also consider it necessary to deploy an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground, as well as to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to Nagorno-Karabakh for relevant UN bodies,” he concluded.

 

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