Failed Diplomacy in Nagorno-Karabakh
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Despite all-out efforts by Russia’s Sergey Lavrov in getting agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan for three ceasefires, fighting continues to rage in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK below).
Each side blamed the other for breaching it, along with attacking residential areas.
Time and again when conflicts erupt, international law is discarded. Anything goes becomes policy, including use of banned weapons.
Evidence shows that Azeri forces are using banned cluster munitions.
Yerevan accused Baku of using white phosphorous that burns skin to the bone on contact — a terror weapon when used in warfare.
Friday in Geneva, Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers — together with OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs — agreed to the following, according to a joint statement by the warring sides:
“The sides will not deliberately target civilian populations or non-military objects in accordance with international humanitarian law.”
“The sides will actively engage in the implementation of the recovery and exchange of remains on the battlefield by providing the ICRC and PRCiO the necessary safety guarantees for facilitation.”
“The sides will deliver to the ICRC and PRCiO, within one week, a list of currently detained prisoners of war for the purposes of providing access and eventual exchange.”
“The sides will provide in writing comments and questions related to possible ceasefire verification mechanisms in accordance with item 2 of the October 10 joint statement.”
Despite everything warring sides agreed on since Azeris preemptively attacked Armenian forces in NK on September 27, all-out war continues in the enclave, defenseless civilians caught in the crossfire.
Thousands of combatants and civilians have been killed or wounded since conflict began, precise numbers unclear.
In response to Armenia’s request for Russian help in defending NK, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry said the following:
“We confirm the Russian Federation’s commitment to its allied obligations towards the Republic of Armenia, including those arising from the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia of August 29, 1997.”
“In accordance with the treaty, Russia will provide all necessary assistance to Yerevan, if fighting spills over to the territory of Armenia.”
“We once again call on the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to agree on an immediate ceasefire, the de-escalation of tensions and a return to substantive negotiations in order to achieve a peaceful settlement based on the underlying principles in line with the agreements reached by the foreign ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia in Moscow on October 10.”
Both countries and four other regional ones are Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states.
If the territory of one member state is attacked by a foreign power, other alliance members are obligated to provide military support.
NK is not Armenian territory, so conflict there doesn’t require other CSTO countries to aid Yerevan militarily.
Iran borders the territory of both warring sides.
IRGC air defense commander in northwest Iran General Abbas Azimi earlier said the country’s armed forces are closely monitoring conflict cross-border, adding the following:
Iran’s military and border guards “are prepared to give a decisive response to the slightest threat against the country’s” security.
On Friday, he warned against “any threat to the security of Iranian border residents.”
Last week, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that the country’s defense forces will not tolerate shelling or other warfare that spills cross-border into Islamic Republic territory.
On Friday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi discussed his country’s proposal for a “lasting peace” in NK with Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in Yerevan after earlier in the week meeting with Azeri officials.
He also met with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal in Ankara.
Following talks, Araqchi said the following:
“In several stages, this plan can lead the situation to a lasting peace and end the existing conflict and, of course, the occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” adding:
“The protection of minority rights and humanitarian rights is another basis for Iran’s initiative to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
Separately, Araqchi criticized OSCE Minsk Group efforts to halt fighting, saying:
“Some of the member countries of this group are not even in the region and their inefficiency has been proven.”
“The foreign players of the Minsk Group – France and the US – are far away from the region and are disconnected from it not only politically, but emotionally and ethically, while having no real desire to establish peace in Karabakh.”
Araqchi is right about the US and its imperial partners that are involved in endless preemptive wars by hot and other means on nonbelligerent nations threatening no one.
Both right wings of the US war party notably abhor world peace and stability.
They’re involved in endless US-launched wars in multiple theaters — a permanent state of war as long as hardliners running things in Washington continue their imperial agenda.
So far, fighting rages in NK with no letup, Turkey very much involved by heavily arming Azeri forces and sending jihadists to help them on the ground.
Ceasefires agreed to by warring sides were breached straightaway.
Russia continues going all out to resolve conflict, so far in vain.
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My two Wall Street books are timely reading:
“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”
“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”