Armenian President reports to General Assembly on increasing tension with Azerbaijan

“I shall note that aggressive policy pursued by Azerbaijan resulted in the absence of any meaningful progress in negotiations for the conflict settlement, and the situation drifts toward increasing tension,” said President Serzh Sargsyan at the annual debate in New York.An autonomous region during Soviet times, Nagorno-Karabakh has been at the centre of a dispute between the neighbouring countries since they became independent in the early 1990s.“Just a few days ago in the bordering area of Armenia, three women fell victim to Azerbaijani bombardment,” the President recalled. “It is obvious for us that the Azerbaijani leadership has irreversibly lost both the sense of reality and of norms of human conduct.”He further noted that Azerbaijan “completely disdains” five joint statements issued by the leaders of the United States, Russia and France, as well as the efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group. “Shall it continue such an aggressive policy, it will not leave Armenia any other choice but to take necessary legal and political-military steps to provide the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh Republic with the opportunity to develop in security and peace,” President Sargsyan warned.Meanwhile, he recalled that last year, one the eve of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, he expressed gratitude to the nations that recognized the Armenian Genocide and named them all individually.“Today, from this very podium, I thank Pope Francis, and acknowledge the historical Mass he served; the European Parliament, and recall the Resolution it adopted; the German President, and, believe me, his well-known statement will thenceforth take part in the pages of our nation’s history textbooks,” the President continued.He also thanked the legislative bodies of Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, for their recent recognition of the 1915 genocide.“Our determination to keep the prevention of the crime of genocide on the international agenda is [exemplified] by the resolutions we periodically table at the Human Rights Council,” Armenia’s leader underlined. Furthermore, President Sargsyan said the global community is today witnessing “unspeakable cruelty” in the Middle East, and that his country has been directly affected by the atrocities unfolding there, since they result in the destruction of the Armenian spiritual and cultural heritage artefacts, as well as the murder and expulsion of the numerous Armenians residing in Iraq and Syria. “The Armenian community of Syria, whose history is centuries-long, shares and experiences all hardships that the Syrian people are undergoing in these difficult times,” he declared. “We are trying to aid the refugees to the best of our abilities: until this day, Armenia received more than 16,000 refugees from Syria. By this sheer figure, Armenia is one of the first among recipient European countries.”He also highlighted the historical agreement made on the nuclear programme of Iran, which he noted is an “immediate neighbour” of Armenia. “All these come to prove that when there is political will to bridge disagreements and emphasize the spirit of cooperation, it is indeed possible to find solutions for the most complicated issues,” the President highlighted.

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