By Gabriela Baczynska
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Security Council members including the United States, Turkey, Russia and France called on Thursday for peace in Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan where Baku launched an offensive this week.
Armenia’s foreign minister said Baku was likely to use force against civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh again unless prevented by global powers. His Azerbaijan counterpart, accusing Yerevan of spreading misinformation, said Baku carried out an anti-terrorism operation against Yerevan forces.
KEY QUOTESFRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER CATHERINE COLONNA:
“It is not the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan that is being called into question … What is at stake is the possibility for the Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh to continue to be able to live in respect of their rights.”
U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD:
“Azerbaijan has a responsibility to ensure its forces rigorously comply with international law … Azerbaijan also has international obligations and commitments to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals in its territories.”
RUSSIA’S DEPUTY AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. DMITRY POLYANSKY:
“Truce should be accompanied by reliable and clear guarantees of security and respect of human rights for the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“We need to develop a gradual roadmap to integrate the population of Nagorno-Karabakh into the constitutional order of Azerbaijan, with clear guarantees of their rights and security.”
TURKISH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER BURAK AKCAPAR
“Our primary goal should be for everyone, including Armenians, to live peacefully, side-by-side on Azerbaijani lands. We support the steps taken by Azerbaijan to protect its territorial integrity.”
Karabakh is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but has enjoyed de-facto independence since breaking away in a war in the 1990s as the Soviet Union collapsed.
Azerbaijan launched a military offensive to regain control over Karabakh on Sept. 19, a day after humanitarian aid was delivered to the region for the first time in months.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Howard Goller)