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International community urges fact-finding mission to Nagorno-Karabakh amid humanitarian

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The international community has expressed its concern over the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin corridor, which connects the disputed region with Armenia, and has called for a fact-finding mission to assess the conditions on the ground and provide assistance to the population.

The Lachin corridor, which is under the control of Russian peacekeepers, has been blocked by Azerbaijan since December 2023, preventing the delivery of food, medicine and other essential supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh. The blockade has also disrupted the movement of people and goods between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, creating a humanitarian crisis and a security threat.

The blockade is a violation of the trilateral statement signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on November 9, 2020, which ended the 44-day war over Nagorno-Karabakh that claimed thousands of lives and displaced tens of thousands of people. The statement stipulated that all economic and transport links in the region should be restored and that a joint Russian-Turkish monitoring center should be established to oversee the ceasefire.

However, Azerbaijan has refused to lift the blockade until Armenia agrees to open a transport corridor through its territory that would connect Azerbaijan with its exclave of Nakhchivan, which borders Turkey and Iran. Armenia has rejected this demand, saying that it would compromise its sovereignty and security.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on January 20, 2023, condemning the blockade and calling for a UN or OSCE fact-finding mission to the Lachin corridor to assess the humanitarian situation on the ground. The resolution also urged the EU to play a more active role in facilitating dialogue and confidence-building measures between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as supporting the reconstruction and development of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed his concern over the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and called for full respect of the trilateral statement and international humanitarian law. He urged all parties to refrain from any actions that could escalate tensions or undermine stability in the region .

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains fragile and volatile, as sporadic clashes continue along the line of contact and incidents of mine explosions claim civilian lives. The international community has called for respect for human rights, protection of cultural heritage, exchange of prisoners of war and missing persons, demining of territories, return of displaced persons and preservation of peace in the region.

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