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People of Artsakh have the right to freely determine their political status without limitations – Armenian FM

The people of Nagorno-Karabakh have the right to freely determine their political status without limitations, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development by virtue of the right to self-determination, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said in an address to the  43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The Foreign Minister said “this is at the core of the peaceful resolution.”  

“Armenia also underlines the importance of denouncing hatred and intolerance and investing serious effort in promoting human contacts. Equally, the threat of force is firmly ruled out. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are committed to building further on the modest results achieved in 2019,” Minister Mnatsakanyan stated.

He noted that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh continue to face a threat of force and coercion from Azerbaijan, whose persistent obstruction of human rights, intolerance, hatred, discrimination and outright aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh are the root causes of the conflict.

“Massacres, ethnic cleansing and forced expulsion of the Armenian minority population from Baku, Sumgait, Kirovabad and other towns and villages of Azerbaijan, the war and aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh in 1990s, glorification of murderers of Armenians represent such consistent aggressive policies of Azerbaijan. They constitute an existential physical security threat to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. We were reminded about this threat in an attempted renewed aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016,” Zohrab Mnatsakanayn said.

He emphasized that Armenia remains fully committed to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the internationally mandated format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmanship and underlines the priority of security and status for Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Promotion and support to full enjoyment of human rights for people residing in conflict areas must represent a collective objective for the international community. Human rights and those who exercise them cannot be defined as a problem,” the Foreign Minister underlined.

He reminded that on 31 March the people of Nagorno-Karabakh will cast their votes at presidential and parliamentary elections in fulfilling their legitimate right of organizing their lives in a democratic manner.

“The commitment of Nagorno-Karabakh and its people who endured war, siege and aggression, who continue to face the threat of war, to sustain a strong democratic society and institutions for the protection of human rights deserve full international support. Human rights and fundamental freedoms should be respected, protected and promoted without distinction of any kind, including “the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs,” minister Mnatsakanyan stated.

In conclusion, he reiterated Armenia’s unwavering commitment and support to the United Nations human rights machinery.

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