Yerevan /Mediamax/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan delivered a speech at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
The full speech is available here.
Mediamax presents excerpts from the speech (the subtitles are ours).
On September 13, Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Armenia. Using heavy artillery, Multiple Rocket Launchers and combat UAVs, the Azerbaijani armed forces shelled 36 residential areas and communities, including towns of Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis, Kapan, Geghamasar deep within the sovereign territory of Armenia. This was not a border clash. It was a direct, undeniable attack against the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Armenia, which was condemned and addressed during the latest UN Security Council meetings and beyond.
The Azerbaijani attack deliberately targeted civilian population and vital civilian infrastructures: Jermuk is one of the main health tourism and resort places of Armenia and now as a result of Azerbaijani aggression all the hotels, resort and health centers of Jermuk are closed. All the residents of this town are displaced. Overall number of those temporarily displaced from Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, and Syunik regions of Armenia is more than 7600 persons, mostly women and elderly people, among them 1437 children and 99 persons with disabilities.
There are evidences of cases of torture, mutilation of captured or already dead servicemen, numerous instances of extra-judicial killings, and ill-treatment of Armenian prisoners of war, as well as humiliating treatment of the bodies. The dead bodies of Armenian female military personnel were mutilated and then “proudly” video-recorded with particular cruelty by the Azerbaijani servicemen. The videos featuring such gruesome war crimes and crimes against humanity are being shared and praised on Azerbaijani social media by individual users.
No doubt, committing such unspeakable atrocities is a direct result of decades long policy of implanting anti-Armenian hatred and animosity in the Azerbaijani society by the political leadership.
In the wake of this offensive, the official narrative and other sources of information suggest that Azerbaijan intends to occupy more territories of Armenia, which needs to be prevented. I want to stress that the risk of new aggression by Azerbaijan remains very high, especially taking into account that every day Azerbaijan violates the ceasefire, and the number of causalities and those injured could change any moment. Another factor for further escalation can be inappropriate reaction to this situation by the regional security organizations, which raised very hard questions among Armenian society.
Public question to the Azerbaijani president
In this regard I’m posing an official and public question to the Azerbaijani president. Could you show the map of Armenia, that you recognize or are ready to recognize as the Republic of Armenia? Why I’m asking this. Because it can come out that from the point of view of official Azerbaijan only half of Armenia and even less - is the Republic of Armenia. If Azerbaijan would recognize territorial integrity of Armenia, not theoretically, but concretely, I mean the integrity of our internationally recognized territory of 29.800 square kilometers, it would mean that we can sign peace treaty by mutually recognizing each other’s territorial integrity. Otherwise, we would have a phantom peace treaty and after that Azerbaijan will use border delimitation process for new territorial claims and occupation.
“The Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh”
One of the crucial factors of regional stability is the comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict where the rights and the security of the Armenians living in NK will be addressed and guaranteed.
The Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh are in need of the support of the international community. We call to support the secure and unhindered access of UN humanitarian agencies to Nagorno-Karabakh in order to assess the humanitarian, human rights situation and ensure protection of cultural heritage on the ground. We think that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the independent fact-finding mission of UNESCO should have access to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
Azerbaijan targets democracy of Armenia
It is very important to state that the target of Azerbaijani attacks isn’t only the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia, but democracy of Armenia too. Despite the expectation of some forces Armenia stayed democratic after devastating war of 2020, using the tool of free fair and democratic elections as a way out from internal political crisis. International community unanimously recognized and praised this fact.
The Armenian democracy is struggling in an atmosphere, when Azerbaijan is using force every day, to impose its plans unilaterally, to bring to the end the Armenian statehood, independence and democracy.
But I’m here to announce that we are determined to defend our democracy, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity by all means.
International observation mission
I want to underscore that diplomatic solutions are an absolute priority for us and the full engagement and support of international community is crucial. In this regard I would like to mention, that the international observation mission to the Armenia-Azerbaijan bordering areas would be an important factor for regional stability.
Undeniably, in the interests of regional stability and in accordance with norms and principles of international law Azerbaijani military forces must be withdrawn from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.”