PM Nikol Pashinyan held a phone conversation with U.S. President’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. He reaffirmed the U.S. interest in establishing an immediate ceasefire, achieving stability, and the United States’ readiness to be of service to Armenia and the region.
PM held phone conversation with @eucopresident Charles Michel.Pres. stressed importance of immediate reinstatement of ceasefire. PM mentioned cessation of hostilities by Azerbaijan and ruling out Turkey’s involvement in region as a prerequisite for resuming peace process.
EU leaders have called for an immediate end to fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh amid concerns the flare-up in violence may grow into a full-blown war drawing in regional powers.
“The loss of life and the toll on the civilian population are unacceptable. There can be no military solution to the conflict, nor any external interference,” the European Council said in a statementon October 2 following a summit in Brussels.
The EU said it supports the co-chairs of the so-called Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has tried to mediate the conflict since the early 1990s.
In their capacity as co-chairs of the Minsk Group, France, Russia, and the United States called on October 1 for an immediate cessation of hostilities between forces fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh
The trio also called on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to “commit without delay to resuming substantive negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.”
Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have shown little willingness to halt fighting since it erupted on September 27.
More than 100 people, including many civilians, have been killed in heavy clashes — including the use of armed drones, tanks, helicopters, and multiple-rocket systems – along much of the Line of Contact that separates the ethnic Armenian forces who control Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan’s troops.
The clashes are considered the worst bout of violence since a 1994 cease-fire ended a war over the disputed territory.
The upsurge of violence has threatened to draw in Russia, a member of a security alliance with Armenia, and NATO member Turkey, which both view the South Caucuses as a sphere of influence.
In a signal Turkey has no intention to de-escalate, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on October 1 that his country would continue to provide “all types of support” to Azerbaijan as he criticized the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs for failing to resolve the long-running dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Given that the United States, France, and Russia as OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have neglected the problem for nearly 30 years, it is not acceptable for them to call for a cease-fire in the face of negative developments today,” Erdogan told parliament.
He demanded Armenian “occupiers” first leave the disputed territory.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict over the mountainous region since the waning years of the Soviet Union. They fought a war that ended in 1994 with an uneasy cease-fire and an estimated 30,000 killed.
Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces.
The potential for robust Turkish military involvement in the conflict is being watched closely by Russia, which is already on opposing sides with the NATO member in conflicts in Libya and Syria.
Russia is among the largest suppliers of weaponry to both Azerbaijan and Armenia. It also has a military base in Armenia.
Turkey’s involvement is also raising attention in Europe, with French President Emmanuel Macron accusing Ankara this week of “reckless and dangerous” statements backing Azerbaijan.
Following the first day of the EU leaders’ summit early on October 2, Macron again accused Turkey of sending Syrian “jihadists” to Azerbaijan and demanded NATO address its ally’s actions.
“A red line has been crossed, which is unacceptable,” Macron said. “I urge all NATO partners to face up to the behavior of a NATO member.”
“France’s response is to ask Turkey for an explanation on this point,” he said.
Armenia and Russia have also alleged Turkey has sent Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan, something Ankara and Baku have denied.
Macron was speaking after a summit in Brussels at which EU leaders agreed to threaten Turkey with sanctions over its gas drilling in Cypriot waters and maritime disputes with Greece.
Already battered relations between the EU and Ankara deteriorated further in July when Turkey sent a research ship with a naval escort to work in contested waters, with Athens responding with war games backed by France.
France is also at odds with Turkey over the conflict in Libya, where Ankara has backed the UN-backed government in Tripoli with military supplies, advisors, and thousand of Syrian rebel mercenaries from areas the Turkey has carved out in northern Syria in military interventions.