Armenia sees the EU mission as a valuable tool to enhance human security on the ground, to contribute to peace and stability in the region, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said at a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu.
He attached importance to the deployment of EU monitors to Armenia in the immediate aftermath of the Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia in September 2022 and later the deployment of the longer-term EU civilian monitoring mission and described it as an important EU engagement in our region. The Foreign Minister appreciated Romania’s valuable contribution to the EU respective discussions.
Continuing the topic of regional security and stability, the Armenian Foreign Minister said: “Regrettably, the blockade of the Lachin corridor since December 2022, intimidation as well as other actions of Azerbaijan aimed at forcing the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh to leave their homes, the systematic policy of ethnic cleansing are the response of Azerbaijan to the calls of the international community to address the issue of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“Along with many targeted calls and demands of international bodies, I would like to stress the legally binding Order of the International Court of Justice issued on 22 February against Azerbaijan. The Court has found that there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm to Armenians’ rights under the Convention for Elimination of Racial Discrimination and ordered Azerbaijan to take all the necessary measures to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin corridor in both directions,” the Foreign Minister emphasized.
He noted that the illegal blockade of the Lachin corridor is not the only blatant violation of the November 9, 2020 Trilateral Statement. “There is almost no single provision of the Statement that isn’t violated by Azerbaijan. Along with the continuously holding of the Armenian prisoners of war as hostages as well as demands of an extraterritorial corridor through the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, Azerbaijan fails to ensure that “internally displaced persons and refugees shall return to the territory of Nagorno Karabakh and adjacent regions under the control of the Agency of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees”,” Ararat Mirzoyan stressed.
Furthermore, he said, Azerbaijan continues its hate speech and the warmongering rhetoric on the highest level as well as systematic aggressive actions on the ground and the occupation of around 150 sq km of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.
“We believe that our partners, the international community have an important role to play by using the respective tools and mechanisms, including sending an international fact-finding mission to the Lachin corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Armenian FM said.