On September 12, Vahe Gevorgyan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, participated and delivered remarks at the OSCE Special Permanent Council meeting in Vienna convened at the initiative of Armenia.
The Deputy Foreign Minister drew the attention of the representatives of the OSCE participating states to the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor for 9 months now, as well as the actions aimed at escalating the security situation by the Azerbaijani armed forces along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the contact line with Nagorno-Karabakh.
Vahe Gevorgyan emphasized that Azerbaijan’s inhumane blockade of the 120,000 Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and the complete cessation of humanitarian supplies, accompanied by the deliberate disruption of key infrastructures – electricity and gas supplies, led to an extreme humanitarian crisis, with the final goal of complete ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh is a part of the wider picture of the decades-long incitement of hatred against Armenians, policy of use of force and threat of force, grave violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law – all constituting warning signs of genocidal intent,” noted Vahe Gevorgyan.
The Deputy Foreign Minister emphasized that Azerbaijan should heed the calls of the international community and unconditionally implement the Order of the International Court of Justice of 2023, adopted on 23 February and reaffirmed on 6 July, to end the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor and ensure the uninterrupted movement of people, vehicles and cargo between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in both directions.
Vahe Gevorgyan highlighted the urgent need for unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to Nagorno-Karabakh and engagement with pertinent international organizations on the ground.
Touching upon the security situation in the region, the Deputy Foreign Minister criticized the movements and build-up of personnel, offensive hardware and military equipment carried out by Azerbaijan along the border with Armenia and the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh. He stressed that these actions are nothing less than a threat to use force, which indicates that Azerbaijan is preparing for a new military attack on Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
“While Armenia continues to stay committed to the settlement of all outstanding issues with Azerbaijan purely through political and diplomatic means, we expect the international community and our partners to undertake all the efforts and employ the means at their disposal to prevent another aggression in our region”, emphasized Vahe Gevorgyan.
The Deputy Foreign Minister reiterated Armenia’s commitment to achieving stability and lasting peace in the region and emphasized that this can only be accomplished under conditions which exclude the use or threat of force and mass violations of fundamental human rights.
The ultimate importance of international efforts to safeguard the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and a strong international mechanism for the dialogue between Stepanakert and Baku, which would ensure tangible outcomes during the process was underscored in remarks.