Four months after the end of hostilities, Azerbaijan continues to violate international humanitarian law – Armenian FM

The use of force by Azerbaijan in the context of the conflict was a gross violation of OSCE commitments, including the Helsinki Final Act, Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian told reporters after talks with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.

“Throughout the war, the Azerbaijani armed forces, with the active support of Turkey, committed mass atrocities, including ethnic cleansing, and war crimes against the Armenians of Artsakh, with blatant violations of international humanitarian law, deliberately targeting civilians, including women, children, the elderly, and civilian infrastructure and objects,” the Foreign Minister stated.

Moreover, he said, even four months after the end of hostilities, Azerbaijan continues to violate international humanitarian law, including the holding of Armenian prisoners of war and other detainees.

“The transfer of thousands of foreign armed terrorists, mercenaries from the Middle East, led by Turkey, to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, and their involvement in hostilities against the Armenians of Artsakh was not only a violation of international law, but also a violation of OSCE commitments. It set two dangerous precedents: the attempt to resolve the conflict by force through mass atrocities, and the mass transfer of armed terrorists from other regions into the OSCE area of ​​responsibility, which should be unequivocally condemned,”  Minister Aivazian stated.

“With the tripartite statement signed to stop the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression, the conflict entered a new phase with the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh. We consider the tripartite statement as a document aimed at restoring the ceasefire and reaffirming security. Although it contains some provisions related to the peaceful settlement, it does not address its key elements, the first of which is the issue of the status of Artsakh, based on the right of the Artsakh Armenians to self-determination. A final political solution to the conflict is possible only within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” the Armenian Foreign Minister added

According to him, the recent developments in the region have underscored the need for a strong OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship, which will be able to lead the peace process on the basis of principles and elements developed over the years.

“We also need a strong, united OSCE as a body responsible for regional security and peace. In this context, we consider the role of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, including the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office,” he added.

“Armenia, the Armenian people, have always sincerely delivered a message of peace. As a nation that survived the first genocide of the 20th century, we know the value of peace and security. At all stages of the Karabakh conflict, Armenia has been in favor of an exclusively peaceful settlement of the issue. Today, too, we are fully aware of the possibilities that peace and real reconciliation can bring to our region, but peace is not just a nice word. The peace built on the basis of the destruction of the peaceful settlements of Artsakh, including the Hadrut region, the destruction of the Armenian population, and the creation of Azerbaijani settlements instead, cannot be lasting. We will continue our struggle for a just and dignified peace, working closely with our international partners,” the Foreign Minister stated.

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