The German chancellor stressed the importance of ensuring humanitarian care to Nagorno-Karabakh residents. He was speaking on the phone with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The rights and security of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh, the breakaway Armenian-majority region under Azerbaijan’s control, must be guaranteed, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said.
Speaking to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a phone call on Friday, Scholz said the “acute humanitarian care for the people on the ground” was the focus of the situation. He added that the people’s security and humanitarian care were “now the responsibility of Azerbaijan.”
What did Scholz say?
Scholz told Pashinyan that humanitarian care should be provided through the Lachin Corridor, which connects the region to Armenia.
Azerbaijan had for months blocked the corridor, ahead of launching a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, earlier this week, reigniting the decades-old conflict. It deescalated one day later, with a cease-fire agreement announced on Wednesday.
Scholz stressed he rejected the use of military force, adding that his government was “strongly committed to a negotiated solution and to lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
“For a sustainable resolution to the conflict, the rights and security of the population in Karabakh must be guaranteed,” Scholz’s spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in a statement. He also stressed the importance of respecting Armenia’s sovereignty.
Aid deliveries after months of shortages
This week’s flareup was followed by talks between Baku and Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian separatists, yet they bore little fruit.
Azerbaijan on Friday said it had sent 20 tons of humanitarian cargo to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The some 120,000 people who live in Nagorno-Karabakh have faced shortages of medicine and food since Azerbaijan implemented a blockade on the Lachin corridor last year.
Long-contested since a separatist war ended in 1994, the Nagorno-Karabakh region has fueled fighting between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan. The region lies within Turkey-backed Azerbaijan but had largely been under the control of Yerevan-backed ethnic Armenian forces since 1994.
A six-week 2020 war brought areas of the region under Azerbaijan’s control and ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal.
Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia have nevertheless remained high, with the two regularly exchanging fire across their highly-fortified, closed border.
rmt/kb (AFP, Reuters)