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.