Azerbaijan turns humanitarian issues into political trade: Daniel Ioannisyan at the OSCE

Any war is terrible in terms of its humanitarian consequences. 

Representatives of Azerbaijan speak about history. I can also tell the story of my grandfather’s family escaping from Shushi in Nagorno-Karabakh back in 1920, while the rest of the family were killed. But it will be more constructive to talk about the current behavior of the states.

During the 2020 war, all Armenian towns and villages that came under the control of Azerbaijan lost their Armenian population. The few Armenians who did not manage to escape before the arrival of the Azerbaijani army were either captured or executed (as confirmed by independent investigative journalists). 

After the 2020 war, I had hope that it marked the end of conflict. But after tհe trilateral statement on a ceasefire was signed, Azerbaijan captured the Hin Tagher, Khtsaberd and Parukh villages of Nagorno Karabakh, making it impossible for the Armenian population to remain there. 

During these two years, Azerbaijan has been terrorizing the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh in all possible ways. The Azerbaijani soldiers shot at the workers who were working on the wires providing electricity to Nagorno Karabakh, cut off the gas pipeline going to Nagorno Karabakh from Armenia and jammed the mobile network there. During this period, the armed forces of Azerbaijan regularly opened fire in the direction of the Armenian villages of Nagorno-Karabakh (for example, Karmir Shuka, Taghavard and Khramort). 

They say that Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh are citizens of Azerbaijan. In that case, I can hardly imagine why Azerbaijan is shooting at those people and making them leave by all possible means. 

Last month, Azerbaijan initiated a large-scale military attack this time on the internationally recognized territory of Armenia. As a result, people had to leave from more Armenian towns and villages, more than 7 thousand people became IDPs, and several civilians were killed.

And I am afraid to imagine what would have happened if the Azerbaijani aggression had not been stopped on the second day of the war thanks to the efforts of the United States.

The representative of Azerbaijan also spoke about the issue of landmines. The death of any person due to a mine explosion is a tragedy. After the 2020 so called 44-day war, maps of minefields were handed over part by part in exchange for the return of Armenian prisoners of war. However, last year the Armenian side announced that the humanitarian issue cannot be a subject of trade and handed over all the maps. 

Here I should  remind you that by holding Armenian prisoners of war, Azerbaijan has turned the humanitarian issue into an object of political trade and pressure on Armenia.

It is time to reach a consensus that humanitarian issues can not be an object of trade. Also, I would like to mention that setting up an international monitoring mission on Armenian-Azerbajani border would definitely decrease the risk of new escalations.

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