EDWARD NALBANDIAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Armenia, condemned the crimes of Da’esh and other terrorist groups, while expressing concern about the devastating impact of the war in Syria. Pointing out that many of those displaced from Syria were Armenian-Syrians who had found refuge there 100 years ago, he said that his country had provided refuge to more than 20,000 refugees from Syria. Calling for wider international cooperation to address the challenges posed by mass displacement, he emphasized the importance of addressing the root causes of large movements of people by preventing crimes against humanity, settling disputes in a peaceful manner and seeking lasting political solutions. Armenia had contributed to such efforts by having initiated resolutions on the prevention of genocide in the Human Rights Council, he said.
Condemning Azerbaijan’s policies of ethnic cleansing and aggression against the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh, he said those policies stood in violation of the Armenian right to self-determination. Earlier this year, Azerbaijan had indiscriminately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure in the region, he recalled, noting that there was evidence of torture — a gross violation of international law. He called for full adherence to the 1994-1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements, the creation of a mechanism for investigating ceasefire violations, and expanded capacity for the office of the Personal Representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office. Finally, he condemned Turkey’s land blockade of Armenia as a gross violation of international law, which hampered the economic cooperation and integration promoted under the 2030 Agenda.