Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Wednesday said that Azerbaijan, in fact, subjected the Artsakh population to ethnic cleansing despite warnings from several world international players, including the United States.
Mirzoyan made the statement during a meeting with the United States’ senior advisor for Caucasus Louis Bono, who traveled to Yerevan after holding talks in Baku.
Armenia’s top diplomat told Bono that the international community’s failure to prevent the mass displacement of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh from their homeland in the 21st century “once again attests to the imperative for clear steps by international stakeholders.”
Touching upon the process aimed at establishing lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus and of normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, Mirzoyan stressed the need to restrain threats against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia.
In the event that Azerbaijan refuses to refrain from such threats its “constructive engagement” in the process will be needed.
The talks with Bono are taking place after Azerbaijan has told European Union leaders of its intention to invade eight villages in Armenia, which it says are being “occupied.”
The two also exchanged views on addressing current humanitarian challenges and rights of more than 100,000 forcibly displaced Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Bono also met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, with whom he discussed a meeting in Granada, Spain last week that included President Emmanuel Macron of France, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and European Council President Charles Michel.
Following the Granada meeting, an announcement was made regarding the imperative for Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect each other’s territorial integrity. Concerns were also voiced about the mass displacement of Armenians from Artsakh.
Aliyev complained to Michel that the statement was “anti-Azerbaijani” and said that the leaders of France, Germany, the EU and Armenia had no right to issue a statement that pertains to Azerbaijan without his presence at the meeting.
Aliyev opted out of the Granada meeting one day before it was scheduled to take place. Pashinyan, nevertheless, attended the talks and on Wednesday was chastised by the Azerbaijani leader.
During his visit to Yerevan, Bono also met with Armenia National Security chief Armen Grigoryan.
Politico revealed last week that Bono was among top diplomats from the EU and Russia who held secret talks in Istanbul two days before Azerbaijan launched a large-scale attack on Artsakh that forcibly depopulated its residents.