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

As delivered by Minister Counsellor Henrik Malvik at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 17 January 2023

Thank you,

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

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,

Norway expressed concern with the developments in the Lachin corridor in the UN Security Council last December. The lack of free passage had already then led to severe humanitarian implications, which have been worsening ever since. 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 along the Lachin corridor. Now, however, food and medicine are in very short supply. Only the vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross have been able to transport a small number of patients in life-threatening situations.

Since Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan´s internationally recognized territory, Azerbaijan has a responsibility for the welfare of the people who live there. Hopefully, when a solution to the conflict has been found, the inhabitants will enjoy a peaceful life. But for that to happen, the government of Azerbaijan must build relations of trust with the population. The opposite is happening now. If the people in Nagorno-Karabakh feel compelled to leave, it will be a humanitarian catastrophe.

We call on the government of Azerbaijan to restore free movement through the Lachin corridor. At the same time, we encourage all parties to work closely with the OSCE and other relevant international organizations in order to reach lasting stability. The way forward is through dialogue and meaningful negotiations.

Thank you.