Pashinyan says Baku Does Not Want to Settle Conflict; Artsakh President Echoes Concern
After Azerbaijan violated a third ceasefire agreement, this time brokered by the United States, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Monday said that international efforts to end the military attacks on Artsakh have failed.
“I would like to state that the efforts of the international community, this time brokered by the United States, to establish a ceasefire, have failed,” the Prime Minister said in a Twitter post, in which tagged President Trump. “As a result of continuous shelling by Azerbaijan, civilians were killed and wounded in Artsakh today.”
I would like to state that the efforts of the international community, this time brokered by the #UnitedStates, to establish a ceasefire, have failed. As a result of continuous shelling by Azerbaijan, civilians were killed and wounded in #Artsakh today.@realDonaldTrump
— Nikol Pashinyan (@NikolPashinyan) October 26, 2020
The ceasefire agreement announced Sunday by the State Department went into effect at 8 a.m. local time. At 8:45, Azerbaijani forces began shelling Artsakh’s northern front. Baku’s intention to, once again, disregard a ceasefire to which it had agreed was laid bare when well before 8 a.m. Azerbaijani government social media posts declared that Artsakh forces had violated the ceasefire. Those posts were quickly removed when they realized that had accused the Artsakh forces before the ceasefire went into effect.
Pashinyan said that he expects the U.S. to react to Azerbaijan’s violation of the agreement, which was hailed by Trump in a tweet congratulating Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Sunday.
“It’s already clear that this time again it was impossible to respect the ceasefire. All should know that the Armenian side made all efforts for the preservation of the ceasefire. The Defense Army was extremely restrained from the morning, but the ceasefire failed to be implemented. We don’t know what will be the reaction of the U.S. President to the failure of the ceasefire, but I had a telephone conversation after midnight with Secretary of State Pompeo, and told him that this is the first ceasefire for them, but for us it’s the third and I can predict what will happen tomorrow. I said that with the utmost probability the ceasefire will not be respected and with the utmost probability Azerbaijan will blame Armenia,” Pashinyan explained in a Facebook Live address on Monday.
On Monday, when asked by a reporter about the ceasefire agreement, Trump said “it’s holding.”
The prime minister explained that he had asked Pompeo to how it would be determined which side had violated the ceasefire and what consequences would there be for not adhering to the agreement reached by his mediation efforts.
“It would not be proper for me to reveal how Mr. Popmeo responded,” said Pashinyan. “I hope U.S. officials will answer the question if they have clarified whose actions led to the violation of the ceasefire and if they have done so, what will be the consequences for the violator.”
Pashinyan expressed hope that efforts of the OSCE Minks Group co-chairing countries—the U.S., Russia and France—will still give results.
“If Russia, the U.S. and France are unable to establish a ceasefire in this conflict zone, it means we are living in entirely another world and we have to understand the logic of this world. We still hope that the efforts of the three presidents will give concrete results, but for now it is what it is,” Pashinyan said.
He said that Armenia has demonstrated maximum flexibility since Azerbaijan, with the help of Turkey, began attacking Artsakh on September 27. However, he said, it can be concluded that Azerbaijan does not want a settlement to the conflict.
“Whenever we have agreed to something, it was unacceptable for Azerbaijan, because they wanted more. We have to clearly register that Azerbaijan at the very least wants the capitulation of Karabakh now more than ever,’’ said Pashinyan.
The prime minister said that the Armenian people are ready for mutual concessions, even painful compromises, but the Armenian people will never agree to the idea of capitulation.
”Azerbaijan has never been and now is not ready for mutual concessions. This is the key point that did not allow a settlement to be reached,’’ said Pashinyan.
Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan on Monday also pointed to Azerbaijan’s unwillingness to adhere to agreements, saying in a Facebook post that the security and rights of Artsakh’s people cannot be compromised.
“Like the previous times, the agreement reached with the mediation of the U.S. and participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs, that reaffirmed the commitment of the sides to reach and observe a humanitarian ceasefire, assumed on October 10 in Moscow and October 17 in Paris under the initiative of the Russian and French Presidents, today was again grossly violated by official Baku. Particularly after midday, when Azerbaijan resumed offensive operations with the use of artillery and rockets along the entire frontline,” said Harutyunyan.
“This confirms that Azerbaijan, enjoying the unconditional sponsorship of the Turkish authorities and mercenary-terrorists, has no plans to resume peaceful dialogue and overtly show that they will continue their military efforts for the final eviction of Armenians from Artsakh. Therefore, our national task is to fight for the sake of the safe and dignified existence of the Armenians of Artsakh in their own Homeland. The security and rights of our people are not a subject to compromises,” added Harutyunyan.