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 Friday, September 22 2023 10:06
Marianna Mkrtchyan

UNSC permanent members call on Azerbaijan to ensure rights and  security of Armenians of Nagorno- Karabakh

UNSC permanent members call on Azerbaijan to ensure rights and  security of Armenians of Nagorno- Karabakh

ArmInfo.The permanent members of the UN Security Council, during their speeches at an  extraordinary meeting on September 21 on the situation around Artsakh, called on Azerbaijan to ensure the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and generally pointed out the unacceptability of the use of force.

Thus, speaking first during the meeting, French Foreign Minister  Catherine Colonna noted that Paris had convened an emergency meeting  of the UN Security Council, considering the seriousness of the  situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to her, after the  accumulation of numerous troops and military equipment, Azerbaijan  decided to launch large-scale military operations on September 19,  during which ground and air means were used, as a result of which  civilians suffered.

"No one will believe that these actions were not prepared in advance,  despite the intensity of efforts to find solutions during  negotiations, and the restoration of humanitarian supplies for the  first time in three months.  France immediately condemned this  unacceptable attack by Azerbaijan, which contradicts the UN principle  of peaceful resolution of the conflict, "and the same point of view  is shared by many countries at this table.  Colona added that the  result of these actions of Azerbaijan were hundreds of wounded and  dozens of dead, including civilians and children," the French Foreign  Minister said.

At the same time, Colonna emphasized that no one questions the issue  of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and nothing threatens it.  She added that, in contrast, the possibility of the Armenians of  Nagorno-Karabakh living in conditions of respect for their rights and  culture was under threat.

"Such guarantees cannot exist if the strong side uses force against  the weak in a planned manner. When Nagorno-Karabakh is under blockade  for a long time, and the population does not receive food, medicine,  and is deprived of electricity," she said. France took note of  Aliyev's statements yesterday about readiness to peacefully coexist  with Nagorno-Karabakh.

"If Azerbaijan truly wants to achieve a peaceful and negotiated  resolution, it must here and now give tangible guarantees, it must  assume commitment to engage in discussions in good faith, not to use  force or the threat of force and start peaceful dialogue around the  rights and guarantees of the population, with support of the  international community," she said.

At the same time, she emphasized that Azerbaijan must provide  guarantees of amnesty for the forces that agreed to the ceasefire,  and must immediately and without preconditions restore movement along  the Kashatagh (Lachin) corridor, in accordance with the decision of  the International Court of Justice.  In addition, according to her,  Azerbaijan must agree to an international humanitarian presence in  Nagorno- Karabakh. Without these guarantees there can be no final  decision.  "We must be vigilant for any attempts of dragging Armenia  into these tragic events and using it as a pretext to question  Armenia's territorial integrity. Prime Minister Pashinyan has  displayed his responsible approach over the last few months, and  desire to ease the tension and find a peaceful solution with  Azerbaijan, based on respect and recognition of the territorial  integrity of the two countries, with clearly defined and  demilitarized borders," Colonna concluded.

In turn, UK's Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the  Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations emphasized  that the United Kingdom has been alarmed about the formidable  pressures that have been faced by the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.   He noted that a few days ago progress was recorded when several  trucks with humanitarian supplies entered Nagorno-Karabakh, but this  progress was interrupted when Azerbaijan announced the start of a  military operation.

"Together with many partners, the UK has called on Azerbaijan to  cease the use of force, refrain from further escalation and return to  dialogue. We fully understand the issues of sovereignty and  territorial integrity, but military force cannot be used to overcome  existing inter-communal tensions," the British diplomat said.

At the same time, he believes that it is now very important to resume  negotiations with representatives of the Karabakh Armenians, having a  credible plan to ensure the rights and safety of all residents of the  region and giving them the opportunity to live in peace.

"Further use of violence will only weaken the fragile progress  between Armenia and Azerbaijan towards achieving a lasting peace  agreement, which must be based on the sovereignty and territorial  integrity of both states.

The United Kingdom welcomes the announced ceasefire. We call on all  parties to respect this ceasefire, end the violence and urgently  enter into open dialogue to build a safe and secure future," the  diplomat concluded.

And U.S. Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Linda  Thomas-Greenfield  noted that Washington is seriously concerned about  the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh in connection with the ongoing  military actions of Azerbaijan. In this vein, she called for an  immediate end to these hostilities.  "We are aware of statements that  such actions have ceased for now. We confirm that this is a positive  development, but at the moment the situation on the ground is  extremely difficult. We are concerned by reports of violence against  civilians.

"Let me be clear: Azerbaijan has a responsibility to ensure its  forces rigorously comply with international law - including  international humanitarian law rules governing the conduct of  hostilities, the protection of civilians, and the humane treatment of  combatants," she said, reminding Azerbaijan also has international  obligations and commitments to respect the human rights and  fundamental freedoms of all individuals in its territory.

According to her, the United States calls on both sides to ensure  humanitarian organizations can provide food, medicine, and other  essentials without any roadblocks, and to ensure the safety and  security of humanitarian workers.

"Earlier this week, we welcomed the delivery of humanitarian goods  along the Lachin corridor and the Aghdam roadway into  Nagorno-Karabakh. This was a critical step forward. But it is  disappointing that military actions commenced a day after the  positive confidence-building action.

Azerbaijan has publicly stated it is committed to alleviating the  humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and to providing access to  food, shelter, medical care, as well as the restoration of  electricity, gas, and water supplies," she said.

"The residents of Nagorno-Karabakh are looking to us in their time of  need. And for our part, the United States has provided more than 24  million dollars in humanitarian and development assistance since 2020  in response to the crisis. Our aid addresses food insecurity, water  and sanitation requirements, medical care, winterization, child  protection, mental health, psychosocial support, and emergency  response efforts," the US diplomat added

"As local efforts are made to de-escalate the situation, we must,  through the international mission, provide guarantees to the  residents of Nagorno-Karabakh that their rights will be ensured in  accordance with the public statements made by Azerbaijan itself.

We will continue to actively work with the leadership of Azerbaijan  and Armenia at the highest level in order to reach a permanent  solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem," summed up the US Permanent  Representative to the UN.

In turn, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian  Federation to the UN Dmitry Polyansky also stated that on September  19 there was a sharp escalation of the armed confrontation in  Nagorno-Karabakh, the humanitarian situation worsened, and risks of a  sharp increase in the number of refugees arose.  "During the military  clashes, there were deaths among the civilian population.  Unfortunately, the Russian peacekeepers once again took a blow while  fulfilling their duty. As a result of the shelling, there were deaths  among them. We took note of the readiness of the Azerbaijani side to  immediately conduct a thorough investigation into this tragedy and  bring the perpetrators to justice," the Russian diplomat said.

At the same time, he stated that despite the difficult situation, the  Russian peacekeeping contingent (RPC) continues to conscientiously  carry out its tasks and do everything possible to protect civilians.

"Since the resumption of hostilities, the RPC, in contacts with  representatives of the Karabakh Armenians and the Azerbaijani  authorities, has been making active efforts to immediately stop the  bloodshed and hostilities, as well as to ensure compliance with  humanitarian law in relation to civilians. About five thousand  civilians were evacuated from the most dangerous areas ", more than a  thousand of them are children. People received protection in the camp  of our peacekeepers, where they took refuge from artillery and mortar  fire. They are provided with medical care, places for temporary  accommodation and hot meals," Polyansky said.

At the same time, he added that with the active mediation of the RPC,  on September 20, an agreement on a complete cessation of hostilities  from 1:00 p.m. and as of September 21 negotiations between  representatives of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and  the central authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan were reached .

There is no alternative to the role of the Russian peacekeeping  contingent in the region.  "We aim to facilitate the early resumption  of work on all tracks of Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization, as  provided for in the agreements of the three leaders, including the  development of a peace treaty, unblocking transport communications,  border delimitation, and establishing humanitarian contacts between  the two neighboring peoples," he concluded.

And China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations,  Geng Shuang, noted that the Assistant Secretary General of the UN  emphasized that with the mediation of Russia, the parties managed to  achieve a ceasefire yesterday.

"We are monitoring this situation and hope that this ceasefire will  be maintained and the situation will gradually return to its normal  course and stability will be ensured.

I express condolences for the death of Russian peacekeepers. They  have constantly performed and continue to perform their functions in  difficult circumstances, so their safety must be guaranteed. Armenia  and Azerbaijan are neighbors, so it is necessary to conduct a  dialogue. This is in the interests of not only the two countries  mentioned, but also regional and international stability.

China has constantly advocated for the two sides to remain calm and  avoid escalation and civilian casualties, and avoid deteriorating the  humanitarian situation in the region. We support both countries in  continuing confidence-building measures through dialogue and  negotiations. It is necessary to resolve the dispute existing between  them according to the norms and principles of international  relations. We will do everything in our power and play a constructive  role in this process," the diplomat summarized.

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