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Ballots instead of bullets: Armenia on Karabakh settlement route

Ballots instead of bullets: Armenia on Karabakh settlement route

September 24
Azerbaijan stubbornly refuses to recognize the right of the Nagorno Karabakh people to self-determination, Armenia's acting Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told the session of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, September 23. “Aggressive military response of the state to the peaceful aspiration of people to exercise their right to self-determination only legitimizes such aspiration and deprives the aggressor of any claim to authority over such people,” Nalbandian said. “As part of Azerbaijan’s policy of ethnic cleansing and aggression, starting from the late 80s and beginning of 90s, Armenians were massacred and expelled from their homes.” “This year again, in early April in blatant violation of the cease-fire agreement, Azerbaijan unleashed another large scale aggression against Karabakh, indiscriminately targeting civilian infrastructures and population. Among the victims were a 12 year old boy and 92 year old woman. Three captive soldiers of the Karabakh armed forces were beheaded in DAESH style, which was subsequently demonstrated in towns and villages and publicized through social networks. Furthermore, the leader of Azerbaijan publically decorated the perpetrators of this crime. During the exchange of bodies of the deceased between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, carried out through the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross, it was registered that the corpses transferred from the Azerbaijani side had undeniable signs of torture and were mutilated. Such despicable atrocities go beyond elementary norms of the civilized world and constitute gross violations of international humanitarian law. “The April aggression severely undermined the peace process. To restore the trust in peaceful resolution of the conflict measures should be taken to prevent the use of force and to create conditions conducive to the advancement of the peace process. This was the main aim of two Summits on Nagorno-Karabakh held in Vienna in May and in St. Petersburg in June. First of all, it is imperative to implement what was particularly emphasized and agreed upon at these Summits - first, the full adherence to the 1994-1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements, which do not have time limitations; second, the creation of mechanism for investigation of ceasefire violations; third, the expansion of the capacity of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. “Against all odds the people of Nagorno Karabakh have been able to defend themselves and create a free and democratic society. “Armenia, together with the mediator countries - Russia, the United States and France – the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, will continue its efforts towards exclusively peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The Co-Chairs have proclaimed a rather civilized formula for the settlement – ballots instead of bullets. The proposal outlined by the presidents of the Co-Chair countries stipulates future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will of its population. The mentality that supports medieval barbarism, as witnessed in April, can hardly accept the civilized approaches of the modern world.” Speaking about the international fight against genocide, Nalbandian said Armenia has been continuously supporting and contributing to the elaboration of the mechanisms of prevention, in particular by regularly initiating Resolutions on the Prevention of Genocide in the Human Rights Council. “As a nation that experienced the first genocide of the 20th century and continues to face the denial of this horror, Armenia reaffirms its strong support to the fight against impunity for genocide. 2016 marks the first anniversary of the UN General Assembly Resolution initiated by Armenia, proclaiming December 9th as an International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of Genocide,” the Minister said.
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