As world leaders gathered at the United Nations for the annual General Assembly, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, addressing the session in a pre-recorded video, highlighted Azerbaijan’s continued threats against Armenia and Artsakh, accusing Baku of disrupting regional peace and security.
Enumerating the continued ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan, as well as highlighting that official Baku continues to hold and torture Armenian prisoners of war and civilians in captivity, Pashinyan blamed Azerbaijan for deepening “the atmosphere of hostility.”
“The ceasefire violations, the aggressive and insulting statements addressed to Armenia and the Armenian people continuously escalate the situation,’’ said Pashinyan in his speech, the transcript of which was released by his press office.
Pashinyan pointed to Article 8 of the November 9 statement saying, “Azerbaijan not only still holds several dozen citizens of the Republic of Armenia in captivity, but it also has sentenced many of them to 6 to 20 years prison terms on trumped-up charges.”
“There are citizens whose captivity has not yet been confirmed by Azerbaijan, although there is clear evidence that they are being held captive. This becomes even more unacceptable against the backdrop of Azerbaijanis posting videos last fall of the capture of Armenian soldiers, whose decapitated or mutilated remains were discovered later. We have irrefutable evidence about the torture of our captives,’’ Pashinyan emphasized.
Armenia’s prime minister cited the opening of the so-called “trophy park” in Baku, “where Azerbaijani schoolchildren are taken on excursions to interact the wax models of captured, killed or bleeding Armenian soldiers.”
Saying such deliberate actions by Baku, make it impossible to achieve peace in the region, pledging to create “new opportunities to open an era of peace for our region.’’
In recounting the numerous violations of international norms by Azerbaijan during last fall’s 44-Day War, Pashinyan lamented that the international community did not prevent mass atrocities—ethnic cleansing—against Armenians
“Today, no Armenian lives or practically can live in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan,’’ added Pashinyan.
In his remarks to the U.N. General Assembly, Pashinyan said that Armenia is ready for constructive dialogue, which should lead to the establishment of sustainable and lasting peace in the region.
“To this end, we propose to complete the process of returning 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,’’ Pashinyan said, pointing out that the use of force, which continues by Azerbaijan, cannot become gain legitimacy from an international legal perspective.
“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 have emphasized the need to resume the negotiation process based on the well-known principles,” added Pashinyan, saying that the Co-chairs would “enable the parties to find common ground, and to open avenues for addressing many difficult issues.’’
In discussing the issue of demarcation and delimitation of the borders, Pashinyan pointed to Azerbaijan’s breach of Armenia’s sovereign borders since May and reiterated his government position for resolving the matter, which includes the simultaneous retreat of Armenia and Azerbaijani forces to Soviet-era borders and deployment of international observers, who would monitor the delimitation and demarcation of the borders.
He also continued to advance the notion of the so-called “opening of regional infrastructures,” which essentially means the opening of common borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey.