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Armenia strongly condemns Azerbaijan’s attempts to escalate the situation

Armenia unequivocally supports the UN Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire, which is a key prerequisite to facilitate efforts to address the pandemic in conflict contexts,  Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mher Margaryan said at the UN Security Council open VTC entitled “Protection of civilians in armed conflict.”

“The civilian population of Armenia’s border regions and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) continue to face serious humanitarian risks, which may further exacerbate due to the spread of pandemic and suspension of activities of the conflict-related field operations,” he said.  

He therefore stressed that strict adherence to the 1994 trilateral ceasefire agreement concluded by Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia and the 1995 agreement on consolidation of the ceasefire regime, is essential to ensure protection of civilians and prevent violations of international humanitarian law.

“We strongly condemn continuous attempts of Azerbaijan to escalate the situation along the Line of Contact between Artsakh and Azerbaijan and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, including targeting of civilians, border settlements and infrastructure, infiltration attempts and large-scale unnotified military exercises of offensive nature. At a time when the international community is consolidating its efforts in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, such actions display total disregard of the Secretary-Generals appeal for a global ceasefire and the calls by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to refrain from any provocative action that could further raise tensions during this period,” Mher Margaryan said.

He noted that Armenia has been raising for a long time the need to address the manifestations of racial and ethnic profiling, glorification of hate crimes, denial and justification of past crimes, especially led and encouraged by state leaders.

“On May 26 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) made its ruling on the case of “Makuchyan and Minasyan vs Azerbaijan and Hungary” in relation to the release and glorification by Azerbaijan of its officer by the name Ramil Safarov, who murdered Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan when he was asleep by axing him to death while participating in a training course within the framework “Partnership for Peace” programme in 2004 in Budapest,” the Permanent Representative reminded.

The ruling stated that: “The court is particularly struck by the fact that, in addition to immediate release, upon his return to Azerbaijan R.S. was granted a number of benefits, such as salary arrears for the period spent in prison, a flat in Baku and a promotion in military rank awarded at a public ceremony.”

“The release of the convicted murderer by the decree of the President of Azerbaijan and his glorification is a disrespect and affront to the standard of civilization and human dignity,” Amb. Margaryan stated.

“Today, resolute actions by the United Nations and regional organizations to advance prevention, including prevention of hate speech and identity-based crimes are ever more critical to ensure effective protection of civilians in armed conflict,” he concluded.

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