Earlier this week (on March 29), Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian reminded in the parliament that the second Artsakh war was preceded by the statement of the OSCE Minsk Group on an exclusively peaceful settlement of the conflict in April 2020, which dissatisfied the official Baku. Then the July escalation in Tavush happened, which, in fact, was not harshly assessed by the mediators.
Consequently, Azerbaijan as well as the states and forces supporting it decided that a new aggression against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) would also remain un-responded and unleashed a new war on September 27.
“Azerbaijan first used force in the border area of Tavush province in mid-July last year. Later on September 27 Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale aggression against the Republic of Artsakh with the help of Turkish-sponsored foreign terrorists, which overturned the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing and disturbed the regional peace, security and stability,” said Ara Aivazian, Armenia’s Foreign Minister.
It is difficult to imagine the restoration of security and stability, as long as there is no solution to the Artsakh conflict. The political solution can be only and exclusively in case of ensuring the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination. In order to ensure that right, it is necessary to fully restore the work in the format of the Minsk Group. This is also the view of the official Yerevan, which has recently acquired a new emphasis: the Minsk Group must be stronger.
“The region entered a period of new challenges, which makes it even more imperative to strengthen the cooperation in the region with partners interested in stability, security and peace. At the same time, they showed that we need a strong co-chairing of the OSCE Minsk Group, which will be able to lead the peace process based on the principles and elements developed over the years,” Aivazian said.
It is not yet known what the new terms of the negotiations will be like, as there is no response from at least two of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries before or after the speech of the Armenian Foreign Minister.
Aivazian assures that the war unleashed by Azerbaijan has changed the perception of the conflict in the international community. If in the past some countries thought that the Artsakh issue was a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the recent war showed that Artsakh’s independence is the only possible way to prevent genocide.
“Now various international organizations and countries are witnessing the complete eviction of Armenians in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan, how our historical and cultural heritage is being destroyed, falsified, annihilated, and our captive citizens are being treated inhumanely. The belief is growing that Artsakh cannot be part of Azerbaijan. If it is a part of Azerbaijan, it means Artsakh without Armenians. I think that reality is becoming more and more fixed in the international community,” Aivvazian stated.
While the international community is trying to understand what is really happening in the region, what are the real risks associated with the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, two days ago Ara Aivazian and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a face-to-face bilateral meeting in Moscow.
It is clear that the meeting focus, as stated in the official statement, was the issue of returning Armenian prisoners of war, as well as the cultural genocide committed by Azerbaijan in the territories it occupied in Artsakh.