Armenian MFA: Azerbaijan’s war against Nagorno-Karabakh is act of ethnic cleansing against Armenians of Artsakh

The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the anniversary of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Two years ago, on September 27, Azerbaijan, in open defiance of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act, unleashed a large-scale war against Nagorno-Karabakh and its people.

The war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh is a criminal manifestation of Azerbaijan’s state policy of ethnic cleansing of Armenians of Artsakh, deprivation of the right to freely and safely live and create in their historic homeland and, accordingly, the forceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This is evidenced by the continuous bellicose, maximalist and anti-Armenian statements of the Azerbaijani leadership both before and during the war and in the post-war period.

Throughout the 44-day war, the Azerbaijani armed forces committed grave breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law, war crimes and other massive crimes by launching rocket, artillery and air strikes, including with prohibited weapons, deliberately bombarding civilians, civilian infrastructure, settlements and cultural monuments. Armenian soldiers and civilians who were taken prisoner were subjected to inhuman treatment and torture, extrajudicial killings.

Many humanitarian problems are still unresolved: Azerbaijan continues to hold Armenian prisoners of war and civilians hostage, the fate of hundreds of missing and disappeared people from the First and 44 day wars remains unresolved.

The policy of destroying and distorting the identity of the Armenian spiritual, historical and cultural heritage in the territories that were passed under Azerbaijani control continues to this day. The International Court of Justice has made its clear assessment of these crimes, finding that there is a direct risk of irreversible damage to the rights of ethnic Armenians under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In this case, it is more than relevant to ensure unhindered access and activities of relevant international humanitarian structures in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Encouraged by the undue response of the international community to the aggression unleashed against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and the crimes committed, on 21 May 2021, 16 November 2021 and 13 September 2022 the Azerbaijani armed forces resorted to a large-scale military aggression against the sovereign territory and internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Armenia.

The realities created by the use of aggression and massive violations of human rights, as well as the continuous military aggression of Azerbaijan against Armenia and Artsakh in the post-war period undermine the efforts to establish regional stability and security.

Even today, using force and the threat of force, Azerbaijan is trying to realize its maximalist aspirations, rejecting even the existence of Nagorno-Karabakh as a territorial unit and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Republic of Armenia categorically rejects the approach to solving problems through the use of force and the threat of force, and reaffirms its commitment to establishing long-term and comprehensive peace and stability in the region through peaceful negotiations,” the statement says.