Statement in response to the address by the deputy foreign minister of Armenia, H. E. Mr. Vahe Gevorgyan

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 12 September 2023.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

We thank deputy FM Vahe Gevorgyan for his presentation, and share the concerns expressed by the representative of the European Union regarding the deteriorating situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

There seems to be no end in sight to the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh. As the cold season approaches, the situation can become disastrous if no necessary measures are taken. The cease-fire agreement of November 2020, the ICJ order of February 2023 provide the necessary elements to solve the humanitarian situation. We think they should be implemented as soon as possible. Undoubtedly, Azerbaijan has the tools to make this happen.

For the time being we see that the tension on the contact line around Nagorno-Karabakh and the international border between Azerbaijan and Armenia is becoming stronger despite the efforts of the president of the EU Council, Mr. Charles Michel, and the US Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Blinken, to move negotiations forward. The EUMA is an important contribution to create stability on the border between the two countries.

Clearly, not enough trust has been built between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and neither between Baku and Stepanakert /Khankendi. Negotiations must also take place at the local level. Unfortunately, the so-called presidential elections 9 September in Nagorno-Karabakh will not help reconciliation. On the other hand, the Armenians in NK must have a leadership which represent their interests. In order to unblock the Lachin corridor and supplement it with the Agdam route, support from the local Armenian population is necessary. Hopefully, the new leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh will realize this and act accordingly.

Thank you.