Azerbaijan’s advance in Nagorno-Karabakh erupted into bloodshed on Tuesday, sparking a rush of diplomatic activity at the UN. The United States and France hurried to attempt to stop it.
The Security Council was urged by France to convene immediately to discuss the situation, which occurred as world leaders arrived in New York for the annual General Assembly. The action is “illegal, unjustifiable, and unacceptable,” French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna told reporters. “I would like to emphasize that we hold Azerbaijan responsible for the fate of Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Colonna added.
She opposed the “use of heavy weapons including in populated areas.”
One day after letting aid via the only road linking to Armenia, Azerbaijan started an attack in the mountainous region.
In addition to being in New York for the discussions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke over the phone with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. French President Emmanuel Macron also called with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
In a phone chat with President Ilham Aliyev, Blinken pleaded with Azerbaijan “to cease military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh immediately and deescalate the situation,” according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
The attack, which began three years after a previous battle in which Azerbaijan gained significant territory back, has claimed at least 29 lives.
According to two officials, the Security Council meeting which France has requested for may take place soon, probably on Thursday.
France wants all nations to denounce Azerbaijan. Contrary to many other problems, Russia has mostly sided with Western powers in urging restraint, even as it expresses concern over increased US and EU efforts to reunite the former Soviet countries.
After 2020, Russia provided peacekeepers, but Armenia had previously accused Moscow of not upholding its responsibilities since it was preoccupied with the conflict in Ukraine. In Yerevan on Tuesday, demonstrators gathered in front of the Russian embassy in protest over Russia’s failure to stop Azerbaijan’s onslaught.
The US maintained contact with Turkey, a country with links to Azerbaijan culturally. While in New York, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for the attack in Nagorno-Karabakh, globally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.
Given that the Lachin corridor had been closed for months, a senior US official expressed irritation that the violence broke out just one day after the world had praised the delivery of assistance via it.
“We had actually good news yesterday,” the official, named undisclosed for the purpose of security, said. “We were hopeful that we were going to be able to adapt to the longer-term issues, so that makes this incident overnight particularly egregious and particularly dangerous,” he added.
Large and vibrant Armenian diasporas may be found in both France and the US. France has been particularly supportive of Armenia. Azerbaijan recently complained when French mayors attempted to force supplies into Karabakh,
With expectations for more discussions in New York before the bloodshed, Blinken has positioned himself as an impartial mediator and has conducted three rounds of peace negotiations with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez, charged Azerbaijan with waging a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against Christian Armenia. The Democrat declared that he will put up legislation to sanction Aliyev in the upcoming days.
“We must provide immediate support to Nagorno-Karabakh and work with international partners to bring pressure on Aliyev to stop his ruthless campaign,” Menendez said.