Statement in response to the address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, H.E. Mr. Ararat Mirzoyan

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Special Permanent Council, Vienna, 20 July 2023.

Thank you,

Norway joins others in welcoming Foreign Minister Mirzoyan once again to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his address.

Norway has aligned itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. Allow me still to make a few remarks in my national capacity.

Mr. Chairman,

We are deeply concerned about the traffic restrictions by Azerbaijan along the Lachin corridor, which has caused severe humanitarian difficulties for the population in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to paragraph 6 of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020, Azerbaijan must guarantee the security for persons, vehicles, and cargo moving in both directions.  We reiterate in the strongest possible way our call on the government of Azerbaijan as well as the Russian Federation to restore free movement through the Lachin corridor. We are glad to see the ICRC’s medical evacuation restored, but the present situation is not nearly enough to guarantee the population of Nagorno-Karabakh access to proper health care as well as indispensable supplies.

Norway supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Sustainable peace is crucial. Peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and normalization between Turkey and Armenia, would create conditions for a better integrated and more prosperous region.

In order for this to happen, trust needs to be rebuilt. Even though tensions on the ground are deeply concerning, we are encouraged to see that high-level talks continue. This requires political will from both parties. Norway supports the talks between the two countries within the trilateral framework with the EU.

In the present situation, the countries themselves are responsible for ensuring stability. At the same time, we encourage the parties to work closely with the OSCE and other relevant international organizations in order to reach lasting stability.

Finally, I would like to underline that we have reached a critical point in this organization’s history. Standing at this crossroads, we must make the right decisions to contribute constructively, and proactively to finding solutions to common challenges. We appreciate Armenia’s latest efforts in this regard.

Dear Minister Mirzoyan, Norway supports Armenia, your citizens, and the difficult work to normalize the relationship with Azerbaijan, and we wish you every success in your efforts.

Thank you.