Azerbaijan taking advantage of the geopolitical situation to continue the policy of ethnic cleansing in Artsakh – FM Mirzoyan

While the attention of the OSCE is mostly focused on military actions in Ukraine, we do hope the issue of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict will remain on the OSCE agenda, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said at a joint press conference with visiting OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau.

“This is especially important today as the Azerbaijan is taking advantage of the geopolitical developments to continue its policy of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh,” he said.

“A vivid evidence of this is the March 24th invasion of Azerbaijani forces in the territory of Nagorno Karabakh, in the area of responsibility of the Russian peacekeepers. And this situation continues into today,” Minister Mirzoyan added.

“This intrusion and the inciting of military actions were preceded by shooting in the direction of civilian settlements and infrastructure, Azerbaijan has disrupted the functioning of the only vital gas pipeline in Nagorno Karabakh and therefore the supply of gas under the severe weather conditions,” the Armenian Foreign Minister stated.

He noted that the intrusion was a pre-planned aggression, which fully ignores the commitments undertaken under the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020.

“In this situations a clear response from the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and the international community is becoming imperative, and the unimpeded access of international humanitarian organizations in Nagorno Karabakh is urgent for preventing a humanitarian crisis,” the Foreign Minister added.

“We note with satisfaction that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing countries have given a clear assessment of the latest escalation in Nagorno Karabakh, stating that it is a consequence of the movement of Azerbaijani forces,” he noted.

He stressed that 1.5 years after the 44-day war Azerbaijan continues to violate the international humanitarian law, as well as the November 9 statement by holding the Armenian prisoners of war captive.

The Minister stressed that in all stages of the Karabakh conflict settlement Armenia has stood for an exceptionally peaceful resolution and continues to do so.

“As you know, Azerbaijan has transferred proposals to the Armenian side, and we have said the proposals are acceptable, noting at the same time that they do not fully address the whole agenda of issues. We have completed this agenda with our proposals, adding that the issue of the rights of people of Artsakh and the status of Artsakh are of principled importance to us, “Ararat Mirzoyan said.

“We expect that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship will be able to organize peace talks in the near future with a view to signing a comprehensive peace treaty. We are consistent in this issue and committed to the trilateral statements of November 9, 2020, January 11 and November 26, 2021,” Minister Mirzoyan said.

He reiterated the willingness of the Armenian side to take steps to strengthen stability on the borderline, and then start to the process of demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Noting that negotiations are under way with Azerbaijan on the opening of regional communications. “We have made proposals in this regard and are expecting a response from Azerbaijan,” he said.

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