PACE Rapporteur seeks access to Lachin corridor to see at first hand the situation on the ground

Paul Gavan (Ireland, UEL), rapporteur on “Addressing the humanitarian consequences of the blockade of the Lachin corridor,” seeks access to the Lachin corridor to see at first hand the situation on the ground.

“On 23 April 2023, I was informed that a border checkpoint was established by the Republic of Azerbaijan at the starting point of the Lachin road,” Mr. Gavan said in a statement released today.

“This unilateral action by Azerbaijan takes place amidst current increasing tensions around the obstruction of the Lachin Corridor, the only open communication route between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia since 12 December 2022. The open and safe access to this Corridor was established and agreed in the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020,” he emphasized.

“Azerbaijan alleges systematic and large-scale misuse of the Lachin road for illicit purposes, contrary to the Trilateral Statement of 10 November 2020, which it claims constitute security threats. Without accessing the area, it is not possible to verify these claims. On the other hand, the suffering of the inhabitants in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the resulting serious humanitarian crisis, has already been well-documented,” he added.

“For months now, we have been witnessing a worrying escalation in the region not only in rhetoric but in facts. It is imperative that both parties contribute to finding a solution to prevent the worsening of the situation of those people living in Nagorno-Karabakh. My report on the situation must be prepared without delay. I intend to travel to Armenia and Azerbaijan, including to the region in question in the last week of May,” Paul Gavan said.

“During my visit, which must include first-hand experience of the conditions on the ground at the Lachin Corridor, I stand ready to meet with all relevant interlocutors. Despite the regrettable upsurge in tension of the last days, I am confident that I will be able to count on the co-operation and good-will of both Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he added.

“My aim is to produce a fair, accurate and honest report, which will be difficult to achieve if I am not allowed to see with my own eyes whether access to the Lachin Corridor is free and safe, as provided by the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020.,” teh rapporteur concluded.

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