WASHINGTON : Türkiye continues to strongly support the peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Türkiye’s UN ambassador said Wednesday as the UN Security Council gathered to discuss the situation in Karabakh at Yerevan’s request.
“As a country with vested interests in regional peace and stability and actively engaged in initiatives towards this objective, Türkiye is concerned with the attempts of Armenia to exploit international platforms, including the UN Security Council, to express politically motivated allegations regarding the Lachin Road,” Sedat Onal told the Security Council.
Noting the need to address the issue in its “proper context,” Onal said the legitimate concerns of Azerbaijan have to be taken into account.
“Azerbaijan has been expressing concerns over the abuse of the Lachin Road for supplying armed groups and illegal mine exploitation in Karabakh for a long time,” he said.
“However, these concerns and sensitivities were not taken into account, and Azerbaijan felt obliged to take measures on its own territory as it deemed appropriate within the framework of its sovereign rights,” he added.
The Turkish ambassador said that medical evacuations through the Lachin Road are possible and Azerbaijan has already allocated the Aghdam-Khankendi route for supplying needs of the Armenian residents in Karabakh.
“Moreover, Azerbaijan has demonstrated its willingness to establish dialogue with the representatives of the local Armenian people to address the issue in a substantial manner. Unfortunately, Azerbaijan’s sincere efforts have not been reciprocated,” he said.
While noting the historical opportunity for comprehensive peace, stability and cooperation in the region, Onal said: “To this end, we expressed our commitment to a full normalization process with Armenia and took steps in this direction.”
“We continue to strongly support the peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he stressed. “It is our firm belief that regional normalization can only be attained through dialogue and goodwill. We will continue to take part in, encourage and support efforts towards this goal.”
Azerbaijan’s UN representative Yashar Aliyev also addressed the Security Council, calling Armenia’s accusations regarding the blocking of the Lachin Corridor “unfounded and groundless.”
“What Armenia tries to present as a humanitarian matter is indeed a provocative and irresponsible political campaign to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of my country,” he said.
“Armenia’s actions are nothing but the embodiment of designed political hypocrisy, and its appeal to the Security Council is part of the campaign that it has been pursuing over the months to manipulate and mislead the international community,” he added.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said he was there at the Security Council to seek their support in maintaining the prospect of peace and stability in the region, accusing Azerbaijan over the “humanitarian calamity” in Karabakh.
Armenia claims the Lachin road is blockaded by Azerbaijan, a claim Baku denies.
Representatives of other countries including the US, the UK, Russia and China as well as the European Union also addressed the Security Council. — AA