Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Security Council Briefing on Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“The United States is alarmed by the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh due to Azerbaijan’s continued military actions, and we call for these actions to cease immediately.
We note the announcements that military operations have been suspended. And if this is confirmed, this would be a positive development. But right now, the situation on the ground remains dire. And we are extremely troubled by reports of violence against civilians.
Let me be clear: Azerbaijan has a responsibility to ensure its forces rigorously comply with international law – including international humanitarian law rules governing the conduct of hostilities, the protection of civilians, and the humane treatment of combatants. Azerbaijan also has international obligations and commitments to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals in its territory.
Colleagues, the United States calls on the sides to ensure humanitarian organizations can provide food, medicine, and other essentials without any roadblocks, and to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers.
Earlier this week, we welcomed the delivery of humanitarian goods along the Lachin corridor and the Aghdam roadway into Nagorno-Karabakh. This was a critical step forward. But it is disappointing that military actions commenced a day after the positive confidence-building action.
Azerbaijan has publicly stated it is committed to alleviating the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and to providing access to food, shelter, medical care, as well as the restoration of electricity, gas, and water supplies.
The residents of Nagorno-Karabakh are looking to us in their time of need. And for our part, the United States has provided more than 24 million dollars in humanitarian and development assistance since 2020 in response to the crisis. Our aid addresses food insecurity, water and sanitation requirements, medical care, winterization, child protection, mental health, psychosocial support, and emergency response efforts.
But let’s be clear: The only solution to the crisis is an end to the violence and a lasting peace. And as the sides work to deescalate the situation, we reiterate the importance of [an] international mission to provide reassurance and confidence to the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh that their rights and security will be protected consistent with Azerbaijan’s public statements.
The United States continues to engage with Azerbaijani as well as Armenian leadership at the highest levels in pursuit of a permanent solution to the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. And let us all work together to advance peace and justice for all”.