YEREVAN — Armenian  Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has warned that Baku is trying to not only depopulate Karabakh but also provoke a “new war in the region.”

“According to our information, Baku’s plan is to bring the economic and psychological pressure on Nagorno-Karabakh to a certain climax, then open the corridor for a few days in the expectation that Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians will leave their homes en masse, close the corridor again, then open it again for several days, and so on until the last Armenian leaves Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said during a weekly session of his cabinet.

“But deporting the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh from their homes is not Azerbaijan’s only goal,” he went on. “With these provocative actions, Azerbaijan also aims to disrupt the peace agenda, the peace negotiation process and trigger a new war in the region.”

“It is clear, of course, that the closing of the Lachin Corridor and the humanitarian crisis created in Nagorno-Karabakh are very emotional for all of us. But I must emphasize the need for restraint in this situation and the exclusion of vocabulary and actions contrary to the peace agenda, especially by the representatives of the state authorities,” he added.

“We remain consistent in our efforts to promote the peace agenda and we will not be swayed from this agenda by any provocation. At the same time, I must emphasize that we must continue our joint efforts – by the government, the opposition, the civil society, Armenian and Diaspora individuals and organizations, to focus international attention on the encroachments on the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh,” PM Pashinyan said.

He thanked the countries and organizations that have respond to the situation objectively and impartially, relying on human rights and international obligations of the countries.

The Prime Minister noted that Azerbaijan has been trying to convince the international community for a long time that the Lachin Corridor is not closed, that the gas and electricity supply to Nagorno Karabakh has not been stopped. “Obviously, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh claim the opposite. I think the best way to de jure resolve this conflict is to send an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and Lachin Corridor, and we should consistently work in this direction,” he added.

PM Pashinyan stressed that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement of all existing problems in the region, and “we will be guided by this very logic, as much as we understand all the difficulties and complications.”

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