Armenia and Azerbaijan clashed this Thursday (September 21, 2023) at the United Nations immediately after the Azerbaijanis’ quick military victory in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
At the meeting, France called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to offer security guarantees to the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, most of whom are of Armenian origin.
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan called at the meeting to stop talking about “two opposing parties.”
“There are no longer sides in the conflict, but perpetrators and victims. There is no longer a conflict but a real risk that atrocities will be committed,” he said.
“The entire territory of Nagorno-Karabakh has been the subject of intense and indiscriminate bombardment using rockets and heavy artillery, including banned cluster munitions,” he denounced.
“The intensity and ferocity of the offensive makes it clear that the intention (of Azerbaijani troops) is to end the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population,” he said.
Ethnic Armenian separatists claim that at least 200 people were killed and more than 400 injured during the offensive, which lasted over 24 hours on Tuesday.
The head of Azerbaijani diplomacy, Jeyhun Bayramov, who until recently held peace talks with his counterpart Mirzoyan, accused Armenia of disinformation.
“Armenia’s attempt to appeal to the UN Security Council in its campaign to deceive the international community is deplorable,” he said.
France is committed to protecting the population
He accused the Security Council of bias and said Armenia had “long been fueling separatism” in Nagorno-Karabakh, including through military support for rebels.
Western powers called on Azerbaijan to protect civilians.
“If Azerbaijan really wants to reach a peaceful negotiated solution, it must immediately offer concrete guarantees,” said French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.
Colonna called on Baku to “participate in good faith in discussions” about protecting the population and “rule out the use of force.”
He also called for the full opening of the only road corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
“They must accept an international humanitarian presence. This is crucial now that winter is approaching,” said the French minister. “Without these guarantees there will be no solution.”
France, which hosts a large Armenian diaspora on its territory, and the United States, which mediated between the two sides, condemned the Azerbaijani military operation.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, in turn, told the Security Council that Baku had “decided to use military force to create a fait accompli on the ground.”
mg (afp, dpa)