On December 1, the 29th OSCE Ministerial Council was held in Łódź city, Poland, where Ararat Mirzoyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia participated and delivered remarks:
At the outset I would like to thank the Polish OSCE Chairmanship for leading the organization during the year and organizing this meeting.
This year marked with enormous challenges for European security architecture. We continued to witness violation of our commitments, including the decalogue of the Helsinki final act. Regrettably, South Caucasus was one of the regions, where we face continuous use of force and threat of use of force. Our neighbor Azerbaijan not only has been continuing its high and warmongering rhetoric, but also military aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia.
On September 13-14, this year Azerbaijan unleashed unprovoked aggression occupying around 140 square km of the sovereign territory of Armenia. This has been the 3rd large scale offensive against Armenia since the signing of the Trilateral statement of November 9, 2020. This aggression, which resulted in 233 of casualties including among civilians, targeted settlements and civilian infrastructure, internally displaced thousands of the citizens of Armenia and caused serious economic and environmental damage. The worst forms of war crimes with extrajudicial killings and torture of Armenian military personal including women and men alike have been an inherent feature of the Azerbaijani aggression.
We would like to express our appreciation to those partners who do not shy away to point the aggressor and raise their voice on the need to duly prosecute the war crimes and punish the executors. It is equally important to demand the complete withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the sovereign territories of Armenia. Their continued presence in internationally recognized territories of Armenia is a serious challenge to fragile peace and stability in our region.
Moreover, during the same year Azerbaijan continued its provocative and aggressive actions against Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh in March and August this year. In blatant violation of Trilateral Statements, Azerbaijan in fact ethnically cleansed yet another settlement of NK and tried to impede the functioning of the Lachin corridor, which is the “way of life” for more than 120 thousand people.
Ladies and gentleman,
Under the current circumstances it is difficult to contemplate achieving peace in a single part of the OSCE region. However, the Government of Armenia has shown political will and has been taking decisive steps to open a new era of peace and stability in the South Caucasus.
Despite the frequent provocations from the Azerbaijani side, we did not stop our talks on normalization of our relations, unblocking all transport and economic links, delimitation and border security. Let me be clear here: Armenia is ready to proceed to unblocking of communications once Azerbaijan agrees that all roads should operate in full respect of our sovereignty, territorial integrity and national legislation.
Delimitation process of our state border should not turn into an exercise of putting forward territorial claims against Armenia and thus should be carried out on maps holding legal bases. In this regard, the agreements reached in Prague and Sochi this year, particularly the commitment to realize the delimitation based on the UN charter and 1991 Almaty declaration will foster this process.
We believe that the issue of rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh should also be comprehensively addressed. These issues have always been at the heart of the peace process led by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
I would like to use this opportunity to express Armenia’s appreciation and further support to missions deployed by EU and OSCE to assess and monitor the situation on the ground. In the current circumstances when Azerbaijan is covering up its use of force against Armenia by initiating blame games, the international presence on the ground and clear attitude towards aggression and aggressor state are as important as never before.
We continue to believe that the OSCE, the OSCE MG Co-Chairing countries, the OSCE mechanisms with their accumulated knowledge and experience can and should contribute to promoting stability and establishing lasting and durable peace in our region.