Read daily news summary for February 1 here.
Artsakh FM calls on countries to be careful and correct in their statements about Nagorno Karabakh
The Foreign Ministry of Artsakh has issued a statement, calling on all countries and organizations to be extremely careful and correct in their statements on the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, ArtsakhPress.am reports.
‘Recently, we have witnessed an information campaign by Azerbaijan, which, in an effort to demonstrate alleged international support for the Turkish-Azerbaijani armed aggression against Artsakh, disseminates messages about congratulations by representatives of some international organizations and political circles of a number of countries on the ‘liberation’ of the so-called ‘occupied’ territories by Azerbaijan.
‘Leaving aside the question of the credibility of these statements, we nevertheless consider it necessary to note once again that the armed aggression unleashed in September 2020 by Azerbaijan with the support of Turkey and with the participation of international terrorists against the Republic of Artsakh has led to numerous sufferings: thousands of innocent citizens of Armenian nationality were killed and injured, hundreds are missing, are now in captivity, have become hostages, have been subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and the Armenian cultural heritage is being destroyed,’ the statement reads.
‘We call on all countries and organizations to be extremely careful and correct in their statements on the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, to avoid statements that may negatively affect the international efforts for the comprehensive settlement of the conflict, maintenance of peace and stability in the region, as well as hurt the feelings of thousands of people.,’ the Ministry said.
Armenia submitted an inter-state application to ECHR against Azerbaijan
The representative of Armenia before ECHR informed that on 1 February the Government of the Republic of Armenia submitted an Inter-State Application against Azerbaijan with the European Court of Human Rights claiming that Azerbaijan has violated the right to life, the prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment, the right to property, personal and family life, as well as a number of other Convention rights of the population of Artsakh and Armenia.
Among other things, the Government raised the issues pertaining to the protection of the rights of prisoners of war and civilian captives, displaced people as well as deceased and wounded persons and their relatives, local and international reporters. A large amount of evidence has been submitted along with the Application.
Armenian Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Arman Tatoyan, in turn, made a statement on Tuesday about the violation of the rights of the residents of Armenia’s southern border communities in the Syunik province by the Azerbaijani military. In Ombudsman’s words, the residents of those communities alarmed that the Azerbaijani military erected a sign reading ‘Welcome to Azerbaijan’ on an Armenian inter-community road.
‘The residents of these neighborhoods have issued alarms that these steps by the Azerbaijani authorities are deliberate and are aimed at grossly violating their physical security and emotional well-being, property and other vital rights, as well as violative of the health and welfare of the resident children,’ the Ombudsman said.
‘By carrying out these demonstrative targeting of civilians, coupled with the practically daily shootings are undeniably exacerbating tensions in those Armenian villages,’ the statement reads.
Syrian mercenaries must leave Nagorno Karabakh – CSTO Secretary-General
‘Syrian mercenaries must leave Nagorno Karabakh, their activity near the borders of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) poses risks for the CSTO,’ CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas said at an online press briefing, Armenpress.am reports.
‘We have information about the presence and actions of mercenaries from Syria in the Karabakh conflict zone. Any Syrian mercenary, militant must leave that territory, stop his activity as the creation of militant groups, squads, and illegal armed units near the borders of the CSTO member states contains certain risks for our collective security’, he said.
On Tuesday, Armenian military expert Haik Khachikyan has identified the exact location of a photo featuring Hossam Deeb, a commander of the Sultan Murad terrorist group, who was recruited by Azerbaijan during the six-week war against Nagorno-Karabakh in fall 2020. The photo was taken in Jabrail which is under the Azerbaijani control, PanArmenian.am reports.
International journalists like Lindsey Snell have published pictures of a number of terrorist mercenaries from Sultan Murad and other Syrian factions, who were transferred to Azerbaijan by Turkey to participate in hostilities against Karabakh.
The Armenian side has repeatedly voiced out about the recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters and jihadists by Turkey from various ‘hot spots’ in the Middle East, particularly from Libya and the areas under its control in Syria, and their subsequent transfer and deployment to the region with the purpose of committing atrocities against the people of Artsakh during the recent Nagorno Karabakh war.
. The above-mentioned fact is not merely confirmed by the intelligence services of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, a number of our partners, and international community, but also by the direct testimonies of the terrorists. In addition to the photos and videos, the Armenian side captured terrorist fighters involved by the Azerbaijani side in the military hostilities against Armenians who provided direct testimonies. This fact has been confirmed by the intelligence services of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries. Concerns over the deployment of terrorists in the region by Turkey have been raised by the international community as well as heads of states.
Other news from Armenia
- The opposition Homeland Salvation Movement, a coalition of 17 parties demanding Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation, called on their supporters to gather near the Armenian parliament building on Wednesday ‘to protest against the activities of the anti-national authorities,’ News.am reports.
‘The My Step faction of the National Assembly continues to carry out anti-national and anti-state activities under the leadership of the government and its treacherous leader,’ the statement reads.
‘On February 3, at the initiative of the government, the National Assembly will hold a special session, and anti-state bills are among the items on the agenda,’ the opposition coalition said.
- ‘Negotiations on a lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and on the region’s future legal status remain as indispensable as ever,’ Chair of the Delegation for relations with the South Caucasus, MEP Marina Kaljurand, the EP’s Standing Rapporteur on Armenia, MEP Andrey Kovatchev, and Standing Rapporteur on Azerbaijan, MEP Željana Zovko said in a statement, ArmRadio.am reports.
‘We call on both parties to reaffirm clearly and publicly their willingness to re-engage in the process led by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and founded on the group’s Basic Principles that they themselves agreed to, reflecting the Helsinki Final Act principles of non-use of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples,’ the statement reads.
‘The complete implementation of the ceasefire agreement is a necessary first step and it is regrettable that the exchange of prisoners of war has not been carried out fully yet. We welcome last week’s release of several of the Armenian servicemen captured after the end of hostilities and appeal to Azerbaijan to release the rest, so that trust can be rebuilt,’ the MEPs added.
- The European People’s Party (EPP) Political Assembly (PA) members have called on Azerbaijan to accelerate the exchange of prisoners of war, captives, and bodies of the dead and demand their immediate release, ArmRadio.am reports.
In a statement adopted after a video conference held on Monday, February 1, the EPP PA members also urged the European Commission to pursue this humanitarian question in the current and future relations with Azerbaijan and called on the European Parliament to urgently discuss the process of exchange of Nagorno Karabakh prisoners of war and captives.
- ‘Armenia did not ask for CSTO assistance during the war in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh),’ CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas said on Tuesday, Arka.am reports. according to him, one should not think that the CSTO is limited only to observing the situation and expressing "readiness, demands, and proposals to cease fire and sit down at the negotiating table.’
‘We did a lot of work. At the same time, we must understand that we have our basic agreement on collective security, which clearly spells out the conditions and procedure for using the capabilities of the CSTO to provide assistance to a member state,’ he said.
Zas cited Article 4 of the CSTO, which states that in the event of a military attack threatening the security, stability, territorial integrity, or sovereignty of one of the CSTO member states, at the request of this state, it is immediately provided with comprehensive assistance, including the military one.
‘There was no appeal from Armenia for military or other assistance from the CSTO. Therefore, we did not launch the mechanism further, and did not consider it, he added.
- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan chaired the session of the Security Council on Wednesday. The participants of the session discussed the current situation in Armenia and Artsakh, as well as security-related and humanitarian issues.