CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
First, let me express my deepest condolences to Austria after this week’s terror events. We commend the resolute and transparent way this has been dealt with by Austrian authorities so far. I also express my heartfelt condolences for the loss of life of our colleague in Kyrgystan.
Norway is deeply concerned by the ongoing military hostilities in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. We urge the parties to immediately cease the hostilities, abide by the agreed upon cease-fire and without preconditions re-engage in meaningful and substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, with a view to finding a long-lasting, peaceful and balanced solution, respecting, inter alia, the principles of territorial integrity.
The fighting has claimed many lives, forced many people to flee their homes and caused great suffering to the civilian population. We are very concerned about reports of fighting and attacks in densely populated areas, which are affecting civilians and putting humanitarian aid workers in danger.
Norway is providing approximately 1.5 million euro in humanitarian support to civilians affected by the hostilities. The assistance will be provided by humanitarian organisations operating in accordance with the humanitarian principles on both sides of the conflict line.
We urge parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and ensure that humanitarian actors have safe and unimpeded access to the affected areas. This is crucial for them to be able to provide protection and assistance to the many people who are affected by the conflict.