YEREVAN — Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan held a series of phone calls with his foreign counterparts on Wednesday, briefing them on deepening humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh brought on by Azerbaijan’s continuing blockade of a vital route of supplies from Armenia.
The press office of Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said Mirzoyan held telephone conversations with the foreign ministers of Lithuania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, as well as with a senior U.S. Department of State officials.
According to an official report, talking to his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis, Mirzoyan emphasized the urgency of supplying food, medicine and other essential goods to Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the need to ensure the full and uninterrupted functioning of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the only international humanitarian organization with access to Nagorno-Karabakh.
He also stressed the importance of “taking concrete steps by international actors, including the EU and EU member states, in order to lift the blockade of the Lachin corridor and to prevent Azerbaijan’s steps aimed at ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Raising similar concerns during his phone calls with his Greek and Bulgarian counterparts, George Gerapetritis and Mariya Gabriel, the Armenian foreign minister also reportedly stressed the importance of the immediate lifting of the blockade of the Lachine corridor in accordance with the decisions of the International Court of Justice of February 22 and July 6.
Mirzoyan was also quoted as pointing out Azerbaijan’s “unacceptable acts of intimidation”, referring to the recent detention of a Nagorno-Karabakh resident accused by Baku of allegedly perpetrating war crimes in the early 1990s that Yerevan calls abduction.
In his telephone conversation with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation Jose Manuel Albares Bueno Mirzoyan reportedly emphasized “the seriousness of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the lack of necessary medical care resulting from the complete blockade of the Armenian-populated region since June 15, especially for the most sensitive groups such as 30,000 children, 20,000 elderly and 9,000 persons with disabilities.”
Talking to Yuri Kim, Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, the Armenian minister reportedly said that “the continuous deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh itself threatens the efforts of Armenia and the international community aimed at establishing a sustainable peace in the region.” Mirzoyan, according to the official report, emphasized the need “to make the best use of existing mechanisms and to immediately remove the blockade of the Lachin corridor in accordance with the decisions of the International Court of Justice.”
“Both sides noted the need to take steps to resolve the situation and agreed to continue contacts in that direction. Minister Mirzoyan emphasized the need for joint efforts of the international community in the current situation,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s statement said.