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Special Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council to Discuss the Situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Zone

On September 29, a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council was convened in Vienna at the initiative of the OSCE Albanian Chairmanship to discuss the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. 

During the meeting a number of delegations took the floor, including the Albanian Chairmanship, the Permanent Representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ countries France, USA and Russia, the head of the EU delegation to the OSCE, Permanent Representatives of Cyprus, Greece, UK, Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, as well as representative of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. 

The Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk briefed the participating States about the situation in the conflict zone and the developments there.

The Permanent Representative of Armenia to the OSCE Ambassador Armen Papikyan in his statements presented the detailed information about the large-scale attacks launched on September 27 by Azerbaijan along the entire Line of Contact with the Republic of Artsakh. He also informed that the settlements, including the capital of Artsakh, the city of Stepanakert, and civilian infrastructure were specifically targeted, which resulted in casualties among the civilian population.   

The Ambassador underscored that the Azerbaijani aggression was pre-planned and pointed to numerous facts that prove beyond doubt that Azerbaijan was getting ready for military settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Ambassador Papikyan also informed the OSCE participating States of the attacks on September 29 in the direction of Vardenis region of Armenia with the use of artillery and air forces, of shelling and bombings of villages and settlements of the region as well as the city of Vardenis itself, which resulted in a death of a civilian.

Armenia’s Permanent Representative then touched upon the role of Turkey, noting that the Armenian side has on numerous previous occasions raised its concerns over the destructive policy of Turkey in the South Caucasus and its militaristic posturing. In this context the Ambassador recalled that the Armenian delegation even initiated a discussion over this as the current issue of the agenda of the OSCE PC meeting held on July 30. Moreover, Armenia has brought to the attention of the OSCE participating States that large-scale joint Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises involving thousands of military personnel, hundreds of armoured combat vehicles, artillery and military aviation, including the UAVs, were conducted immediately after the July offensive. Furthermore, the Armenian side also expressed its concern over the fact that after the exercises ended the Turkish military personnel and military equipment remained stationed in Azerbaijan.      

Ambassador Papikyan also noted the unconditional and unilateral support of Turkey to the Azerbaijani aggressive actions. Already on September 27 Turkey’s political-military leadership at the highest level made statements, which contained direct threats against Armenia. Moreover, Turkey with its bellicose statements has instigated the current aggression.  

Ambassador Papikyan also touched upon the fact of Turkey’s military support to Azerbaijan, as well as recruitment by Turkey of Syrian mercenary fighters to fight in Azerbaijan and their deployment to Azerbaijan. 

Armenia’s Permanent Representative stressed that this attitude of Turkey has not come as a surprise, since Turkish leadership is willing to use the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to project its exclusive political and military power into the South Caucasus. 

Ambassador Papikyan also informed that the Turkish F-16 fighter jet has targeted the Su-25 jet of Armenia’s Air Force which was Armenia’s air space and shot it down, thus raising the current escalation to a new level. 

Ambassador Papikyan stressed that Turkey should immediately withdraw its military personnel from Azerbaijan, then called on the international community to revise its policy of appeasement of Turkey and take necessary measures to discourage Turkey from pursuing its destructive policies. 

Touching upon the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Ambassador Papikyan underscored Armenia’s unconditional support to the mandate and the activities of the Co-Chairs and stressed the importance of Co-Chairs visiting the region at this stage. He reiterated Armenia’s readiness to assist in organising such a visit to the region by Co-Chairs.   

Concluding his statement, Ambassador Papikyan stressed that attempts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue by force failed back in the 1990s, in April of 2016, in July of 2020, and will fail now. Armenia concurs with the position of the Co-Chairs and many others that there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiated solution of the conflict. Therefore, the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the OSCE participating States should urge those countries, which unleashed this war, to restore the cease-fire and to return to the path of political and diplomatic solution of the issue. “The peoples of the region are paying an excessively high price for this military adventure by the authoritarian leader of Azerbaijan.”

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