France, Russia, U.S. Call For A Halt To War In Karabakh

Fuad Muxtarlı Feature 1 October 2020
France, Russia, U.S. Call For A Halt To War In Karabakh

Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Emmanuel Macron and US’s Donald Trump believe that hostilities in the conflict zone should be stopped immediately.

They noted that they "in the strongest terms condemn the escalation of violence taking place on the line of contact in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict." They called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities between the armed forces of the parties involved."

"We also call on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately undertake commitments in good faith and without setting preconditions to resume negotiations on the essence of the settlement with the assistance of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs," they said in a statement

This statement comes in the wake of Armenia’s urgent request for help to stop Azerbaijan. Armenia is in trouble and its leadership is licking boots of foreign leaders to protect it from Azerbaijan’s advancing army. Armenia and its backers are resorting to all means to compel Azerbaijan to call off war in the separatist Karabakh region though President Ilham Aliyev made public conditions to stop the hostilities.

Armenian President Armen Sargsyan has called on the world community to help with suspension of the military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh. He acknowledged that Azerbaijan’s anti-terror operation has put the occupying forces and the country's leadership in a difficult situation.

"If the international community does not intervene to stop the war in Karabakh, the Caucasus will become a complicated problem. If the confrontation does not stop, the Caucasus may turn into another Syria," according to Armenian media.

Azerbaijan, in response to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s accusations of using mercenaries in Karabakh, denied it, blaming official Yerevan for involving foreign mercenaries in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, primarily from the Middle East.

"In response to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commentary regarding the transportation of foreign mercenaries to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area, we would like to note that we have repeatedly voiced concerns about Armenia’s widespread use of such means," the ministry said in a statement.
According to the statement, mercenaries from the Middle East are being involved especially actively.

The Foreign Ministry said that Armenia "transports foreign mercenaries to the occupied Azerbaijani territories as part of the policy of illegal settlement" and "recruits them to its army as ‘volunteers’ to use them in combat operations against Azerbaijan."

In a similar development, Russia’s Putin and France’s Macron, discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh in a telephone conversation, the Kremlin press service reported.

As the Kremlin said the two presidents "thoroughly discussed the sharp exacerbation of the situation in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and also expressed concern over the ongoing hostilities".

Putin and Macron called on the parties to the conflict for an early and complete ceasefire and de-escalation of tensions

Azerbaijan’s friends

President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan is ready to call off war only if Armenia pulls troops out of the occupied territories.

"For 30 years, we have been patiently waiting for a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. We were told to be patient. However, Armenia's new prime minister put forward seven conditions to us, which we rejected as unacceptable. I have one demand - unconditional and complete liberation of the occupied territories. If it is fulfilled, the hostilities will be suspended, peace will be restored, and bloodshed will stop," Aliyev said.

The Azerbaijani leader added that "fierce battles are going on now, there are casualties and wounded on our side. However, law is on our side. We are fighting for the liberation of our lands. If the international community cannot stop the aggressor, then Azerbaijan and its soldiers will. The liberation of the occupied territories is our right. International principles provide us with this right," Ilham Aliyev said on September 30.

The president also aired grievances against the positions of foreign states on the Karabakh conflict and the way they treated Azerbaijan's decision to go to war without naming any country. The president credited Turkey's role for supporting Azerbaijan’s struggle for the liberation of its territories.

"I have already said and I want to reiterate that these bloody battles are the moment of truth for us, for the entire Azerbaijani people. We can see who is who. We can see that some parties, who say words that are pleasant for us, make good statements, in some cases do not stand behind their words. What is said in words is one thing, but things is done in practice are different,” the Azerbaijani leader opined.

However, Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan unequivocally supported Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani president and Foreign Ministry have praised Turkey for explicitly expressing support for Baku amid the ongoing military clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

You know that there is an international format for negotiations. Unfortunately, this format did not produce any results. Therefore, in the current situation, I consider calls for dialogue by some parties inappropriate. This is done by international organizations, the UN is doing it. We naturally accept this. The OSCE is doing this; we accept this, because the OSCE has a mandate. On the other hand, someone says: Let us start such a dialogue, let us help, this is not necessary. Now it is the decisive moment. Which side are you on? On the side of the truth or falsehood? On the side of your friend or your foe?" the president added.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said that Turkey favors ensuring of respect for peace and security in the region and fundamental norms and principles of international law. Ankara supports a solution to the Karabakh conflict that would be a fair one and conform to international legal norms and principles and resolutions passed by international organisations, primarily the UN Security Council, the statement said.

The UN Security Council passed four resolutions in 1993 that demand the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh. The ministry also accused Armenia of lying that Turkey is involved in the Karabakh fighting on Baku's side. It said Armenia's statements to this effect were "a lie and a provocation".

Yerevan also circulated the "disinformation" that a Turkish F-16 plane had downed an Armenian Su-25 plane in order to involve third parties in the conflict. "Armenia seeks to divert the attention of the international community from its own aggressive policy and the war crimes that it has committed as it purposefully shelled Azerbaijani civilians," the statement added.

Armenia’s friends

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Said Khatibzadeh has warned that Iran will not allow "terrorist groups" to violate its national security amid the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, ISNA news agency said.

"Iran will not allow terrorist groups to turn the areas adjacent to our northern borders into a threat to our national security," he told reporters. His remarks came in reaction to reports appearing on the Turkish media outlets about Armenia "transferring takfiri terrorist groups from Iraq and Syria" to the Caucasus.

Today, the Persian website of the Turkish state-run broadcaster TRT carried a report on cooperation between Armenia and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to "attack civilians in Azerbaijan".

The report added that "by the end of July, some 300 terrorist members of PKK and YPG have been transferred to Armenia and Karabakh."

The spokesman warned that the transfer of the conflict to the Caucasus will lead to far greater catastrophes for the region than the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Macron raps "Turkey's dangerous support” for Azerbaijan

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned what he called Turkey's "reckless and dangerous" statements backing Azerbaijan in its bid to retake the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"I have noted Turkey's political statements which I think are reckless and dangerous," Macron told in Riga.

"France remains extremely concerned about the bellicose comments that Turkey made in the last hours, which essentially remove any inhibitions from Azerbaijan in what would be a reconquest of northern Karabakh. That we will not accept," he added.

He also appeared to voice support for Yerevan: "I say to Armenia and to the Armenians, France will play its role."