Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced concern about the ongoing blockade of the Lachin Corridor during a telephone conversation on Wednesday with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
“The Secretary expressed deep concern for the worsening humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting from the blockage of the Lachin corridor. He also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to support efforts toward a lasting peace and to our strong multifaceted bilateral relationship,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.
“Secretary Blinken welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to peace, and the two discussed steps to restart bilateral talks with Azerbaijan,” Price added.
The readout of the call from Pashinyan’s office said that the prime minister impressed upon the severe humanitarian crisis that has been caused due to Azerbaijan’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor
“The Prime Minister noted that by blocking the Lachin Corridor, Azerbaijan once again resorted to a provocative action and actually violated the obligation assumed by the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020,” Pashinyan’s office said.
The two also “exchanged ideas on the issues of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, protection of the rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, unblocking of regional infrastructures, and normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations.”
In response to remarks made Tuesday by Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan at a special sitting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, Michael Carpenter, the United State ambassador to the organization, called on Azerbaijan—and Russia—to end the Lachin Corridor blockade.
“The United States, too, is gravely concerned that the Lachin corridor has now been obstructed for more than 30 days, creating critical shortages of food, medicine, and other supplies in Nagorno-Karabakh. These facts are indisputable. We call on Azerbaijan and Russia to restore unhindered transit immediately in keeping with prior commitments, which clearly include guarantees, as you have quoted, for the ‘security of persons, vehicles and cargo moving along the Lachin Corridor in both directions,’” Carpenter said at the special OSCE session, which convene at Armenia’s request.
“The ongoing disrupted passage of private and commercial traffic on the Lachin road could have severe humanitarian consequences for the people living in Nagorno-Karabakh,” Carpenter emphasized.
“The OSCE and its various institutions are well placed to assist Armenia and Azerbaijan based on our comprehensive approach to security and anchored in our values, principles, and commitments. We have an extensive toolkit that could be utilized in this conflict and we should discuss how we can do so,” added Carpenter.
“The United States calls on Azerbaijan and Armenia to reengage in meaningful negotiations to resolve their disputes. A comprehensive peace agreement is the only true path to long-lasting peace based on normalization of relations and mutual recognition. We also call on Azerbaijan and Armenia to investigate alleged atrocities and to hold perpetrators accountable,” said Carpenter.
“We will continue to work with Azerbaijan and Armenia bilaterally, multilaterally through partners such as the European Union, and through international organizations like the OSCE to reach a comprehensive and sustainable settlement for this conflict,” added the U.S. envoy to the OSCE.