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Armenian PM calls for international observers to be deployed along border with Azerbaijan

UNITED NATIONS, September 24. /TASS/. Armenia believes that the process of delimitation and demarcation of a disputable section on the border with Azerbaijan should be carried out with participation of international observers, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a video address at the General Debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Friday.

"I must state with regret that it is difficult to imagine a border delimitation process on the backdrop of almost daily shootings and various provocations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border," he said. "To overcome this situation, we have suggested the following actions: In the above-mentioned section, the armed forces of both Armenia and Azerbaijan should withdraw simultaneously to the Soviet times border, international observers would be deployed along that border and under international auspices we would start delimitation and demarcation. We are ready to implement this proposal at any time."

Constructive dialogue

Armenia is ready for a constructive dialogue that will help sustainable and lasting peace to come to the region, Nikol Pashinyan said.

"Armenia is ready for a constructive dialogue, which should lead to the establishment of sustainable and lasting peace in the region. In this regard, we propose to complete the process of return of prisoners of war, hostages and other captives without delay," Pashinyan said. "It is also necessary to resume the peace process for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs."

Pashinyan emphasized the need to move forward "through dialogue, overcoming incrementally the atmosphere of painful hostility in our region, but Yerevan realizes that "the path will be difficult and long."

"Unfortunately, the incidents designed to delegitimize the peace agenda and deepen and institutionalize the atmosphere of hostility occur on a daily basis. Violations of the ceasefire, aggressive and insulting statements against Armenia and the Armenian people continue to escalate the atmosphere," he said.

The Armenian prime minister said, "Azerbaijan not only still holds several dozen citizens of the Republic of Armenia in captivity, but also has sentenced many of them to 6 to 20 years’ imprisonment on trumped-up charges. In addition, there are persons whose captivity has not yet been confirmed by Azerbaijan, although there is clear evidence that they were captured."

According to Pashinyan, "in the parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, which came under the control of Azerbaijan, the Armenian people were subjected to complete ethnic cleansing."

"Today, no Armenian lives or practically could live in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan," he added.

The highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been disputed by Baku and Yerevan since February 1988 when the region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, 2020, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on a complete ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh starting from November 10. Under the statement, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides maintain the positions that they have held and then Armenian forces turn over control of certain districts to Azerbaijan. In addition, Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the contact line and to the Lachin corridor, which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

Tensions began escalating on the border on May 12, 2021. Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported then that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces had attempted to conduct "certain work" in an area bordering the Syunik region to "adjust the border.".