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 Friday, September 24 2021 22:31

Nikol Pashinyan at UN Session: Today, no Armenian lives or  practically could live in the territories under the control of  Azerbaijan

Nikol Pashinyan at UN Session: Today, no Armenian lives or  practically could live in the territories under the control of  Azerbaijan

ArmInfo. At the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan touched upon the situation in the South Caucasus region, present Armenia's views and proposals for resolving  existing problems.  

Thus, as the press service of the RA PM reports, in his speech, the  Prime Minister emphasized:  

"Honorable President of the General Assembly, Ladies and gentlemen, I  am pleased to once again deliver a statement at the United Nations  General Assembly.  

First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr.  Abdulla Shahid on his  election as President of the General Assembly, as well as Mr. Antonio  Guterres on his re-election as Secretary-General of the United  Nations. I am confident that with your leadership you will help us  overcome the vast challenges we are facing.  Today in my speech, I  would like to refer to the situation in the South Caucasus region,  present our views and proposals on the solution of the existing  problems.  As you know, in the fall of 2020, Nagorno-Karabakh was  subjected to aggression. The war that lasted forty- four days took  the lives of several thousands of people. 

Tens of thousands of residents of Nagorno-Karabakh were displaced. 

The aggression was accompanied by numerous gross violations of  international law by the Azerbaijani armed forces, including  deliberate targeting of civilians and vital infrastructure,  extrajudicial killings of prisoners of war and civilian hostages,  torture and many other documented crimes. As a result of these  actions, in the parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, which came under the  control of Azerbaijan, the Armenian people were subjected to complete  ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately, the international community here  again could not prevent the mass atrocities. Today, no Armenian lives  or practically could live in the territories under the control of  Azerbaijan.  Thanks to the mediation efforts of the Russian  Federation, it was possible to stop the bloodshed. On November 9, a  trilateral ceasefire statement was signed. Peacekeeping forces of the  Russian Federation were deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh, which today  ensure stability and security thereon.  

Dear Colleagues, One month ago, the Republic of Armenia National  Assembly approved the Government's Action Plan for 2021-2026, where  one of the key provisions is to open an era of peaceful development  for our country and the region. Moreover, as per the results of the  early parliamentary election held on June 20, 2021, the people of  Armenia gave to our Government a mandate to move towards this key  goal. It should be emphasized that our Government received this  important mandate based on the results of elections that were held to  overcome the domestic political crisis.  This was the second election  in our country after the Non-violent, Velvet, People's Revolution in  Armenia in 2018. Both elections were assessed by international  observers as competitive, transparent, and in line with democratic  standards.  So, how are we going to achieve the goal of opening an  era of peaceful development for our country and the region? Through  dialogue, overcoming incrementally the atmosphere of painful  hostility in our region. We realize that the path will be difficult  and long.  Unfortunately, the incidents designed to delegitimize the  peace agenda and deepen and institutionalize the atmosphere of  hostility occur on a daily basis. Violations of the ceasefire,  aggressive and insulting statements against Armenia and the Armenian  people continue to escalate the atmosphere.  An act against the peace  agenda is the fact that, contrary to Article 8 of the November 9  statement, Azerbaijan not only still holds several dozen citizens of  the Republic of Armenia in captivity, but also has sentenced many of  them to 6 to 20 years imprisonment on trumped-up charges. In  addition, there are persons whose captivity has not yet been  confirmed by Azerbaijan, although there is clear evidence that they  were captured.  This becomes even more unacceptable against the  background that in the fall of 2020, Azerbaijani users posted videos  of the capture of specific Armenian soldiers, and later the  decapitated or shot bodies of those soldiers were discovered. We have  irrefutable evidence about the torture of our captives.  An   outrageous example of the deepening of the atmosphere of hostility  is the opening of the so-called trophy park in Baku, where  Azerbaijani schoolchildren are taken on excursions to watch the  mannequins of captured, killed or bleeding Armenian soldiers.  These  and other steps are taken to demonstrate the impossibility of peace  in our region, but we will consistently advance that agenda by using  every opportunity and by creating new opportunities to open an era of  peace for our region.  

In this sense, I consider the opening of regional communications  extremely important, which is stated in the 9th point of the  trilateral declaration signed by the President of the Russian  Federation, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of  Armenia of November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021.  The interconnected  transport arteries of the region will be an outcome of resolving this  issue. 

Opportunity will be created for establishing economic ties, which is  one of the important prerequisites for peaceful development.  While  examining the topic of reopening transport links, we discovered that  there are options that aim at sustaining regional isolation and  hostility, but there are also options that emphasize regional  interconnectedness and can be a step-by-step solution of the problem  of hostility. We are an advocate for the latter option.  If the  railway connecting Armenia to Turkey is opened too, then the topic of  opening regional communications will cover broader scope.  

Honorable Mr. Secretary General, Armenia is ready for a constructive  dialogue, which should lead to the establishment of sustainable and  lasting peace in the region. 

In this regard, we propose to complete the process of return of  prisoners of war, hostages and other captives without delay.  It is  also necessary to resume the peace process for the settlement of the  Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group  Co-Chairs.  There is no doubt that the situation created through the  use of force cannot gain legitimacy from the point of view of  international law. The right of the people of Artsakh to  self-determination cannot be suspended through the use of force; the  conflict cannot be considered resolved through the use of force. The  Nagorno- Karabakh conflict is awaiting its just settlement. 

This is evidenced by the statements of the Co-Chair countries, which  emphasize the need to resume the negotiation process based on the   well-known principles.  We believe that the contacts mediated by the  Co-Chairs will enable the parties to find common ground, and to open  avenues for addressing many difficult issues.  Next is the issue of  delimitation and demarcation of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. 

I must state with regret that it is difficult to imagine a border  delimitation process on the backdrop of almost daily shootings and  various provocations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, on the  backdrop of units of the armed forces of Azerbaijan having  infiltrated the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia on May  12, 2021 in the Sotk-Khoznavar section. To overcome this situation,  we have suggested the following actions: In the above mentioned  section, the armed forces of both Armenia and Azerbaijan should  withdraw simultaneously to the Soviet times border, international  observers would be deployed along that border and under international  auspices we would start delimitation and demarcation. We are ready to  implement this proposal at any time.  Dear Colleagues, In my speech, 

I touched upon issues of vital importance for our country and for the  region. These issues need urgently to be addressed today and require  the urgent attention of the international community.  At the same  time, as I conclude my speech, I would like to reaffirm that Armenia,  as a responsible member of the international community and a reliable  partner, will continue to contribute to the strengthening of  comprehensive international order, to international cooperation based  on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, promoting  sustainable development and protection of fundamental human rights.  

We are committed to a constructive and inclusive dialogue with all   our partners.  Armenia is ready to make every effort to contribute  to overcoming the current global challenges such as climate change,  the COVID-19 pandemic, issues of international peace, security, and  sustainable development.  With this, let me complete my speech by  wishing success to the works of the 76th session of the UN General  Assembly.  Thank you for attention."


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