Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday called out Azerbaijan’s continued threats of military action and war, and emphasized the need to bolster OSCE’s border monitoring missions during a telephone call with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, who had initiated the conversation to discuss the current unrest on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The U.N. chief held a similar conversation with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
The prime minister briefed Guterres about the ongoing tensions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, since Azerbaijan brazenly began attacking civilian and military targets in Armenia’s Tavush Province on July 12. He emphasized that Azerbaijan resorted to this aggression in clear disregard for Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire during the global coronavirus pandemic.
“I assure you that Armenia spared no efforts to cease military operations and ease the tensions,” Pashinyan told Guterres, according to a readout released by his press office.
Speaking about the violations of agreements by Azerbaijan on ceasing the military operations, Pashinyan added that at this moment the contradictory statements and actions by the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan are evident.
“We understand the the domestic situation in Azerbaijan is serious, but we cannot be held hostage to the trap set by President Aliyev. The hatred and threats of war propagated against Armenia for years has created an illusion of military dominance, which is now waining. We have no confidence if the leadership of Azerbaijan has the ability or the will to observe the ceasefire and refrain from its provocative rhetoric,” Pashinyan told the U.N. chief.
Pashinyan reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to the peaceful settlement of the conflict, emphasizing the critical importance of strengthening the OSCE-led monitoring mission and the implementation of agreements.
“It is necessary that the leadership of Azerbaijan publicly refrains from using force or threatening to do so. The Azerbaijani leadership must accept that there are no alternatives to peaceful negotiations,” added Pashinyan.
Guterres expressed his concerns over the escalating situation in the region, emphasizng the importance of immediate measures aimed at easing tensions, including by the implementation of the agreements on the strengthening the ceasefire. He reiterated his support for the mediation efforts being led by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs.