Armenia calls on Security Council to send UN mission to Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in a long-standing dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh since the Soviet Union's collapse.

Armenia's Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan addresses the UN Security Council meeting on September 21. AP
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Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Thursday called on the Security Council to deploy a UN mandated peacekeeping mission to the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijan launched an offensive it called an “anti-terrorist operation”.

Ethnic Armenian separatists say that the 24-hour offensive killed at least 200 people and injured 400.

Mr Mirzoyan, called on the world to no longer speak about “two sides”, and said there is no more conflict but a "real danger of atrocity".

“The intensity and cruelty of the offensive makes it clear that the intention is to finalise ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population,” he said.

Mr Mirzoyan appealed to Council members to “immediately deploy an inter-agency mission by the United Nations to Nagorno-Karabakh”, to monitor and assess the humanitarian and security situation.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov accused Armenia of disinformation.

“Armenia's attempt to exploit the UN Security Council in its campaign to mislead the international community is deplorable,” he said.

Accusing the Security Council of bias, Mr Bayramov said Armenia had long “fuelled separatism” in Nagorno-Karabakh, including through military support to the rebels.

France urged Azerbaijan to protect the population.

“If Azerbaijan truly wants to reach a peaceful negotiated solution, it must immediately present tangible guarantees,” French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said.

Ms Colonna called for the complete opening of the only road corridor from Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh, where aid was allowed on the eve of the military operation after months of disruption.

“They must finally accept an international humanitarian presence. This is indispensable as winter comes,” she said. “Without these guarantees, it will not be possible to have a solution.”

For months, the region of Nagorno-Karabakh faced a critical shortage of essential supplies mainly because of a blockade imposed by Baku.

The blockade effectively severed the only road connection between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia in the southern Caucasus Mountains area.

Alarmed by the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the UN, said the situation there “remains dire”.

Extremely troubled by reports of violence against civilians, Ms Thomas-Greenfield insisted that Azerbaijan has a responsibility to ensure its forces rigorously complied with international law.

Germany Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also criticised Azerbaijan, telling council members that Baku “decided to create facts on the ground by military force".

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in a long-standing dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh since the Soviet Union's collapse.

Although it is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh has an ethnic Armenian majority and Armenia's support.

Updated: October 02, 2023, 1:55 AM