First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of Latvia Artis Pabriks spoke of the ongoing military operations in the Nagorno-Karabakh region during his interview with RigaTV24 TV channel, Trend reports.
“Speaking specifically about the conflict in the South Caucasus, I can say that our Foreign Ministry has clearly stated Latvia's position that both sides should sit down at the negotiating table and resolve the issue peacefully. However, the reality is that for 26 years not the slightest progress has been made towards the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As the Latvian side, we remain committed to the peaceful settlement of any conflict, as well as to the principle of the inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states. The current military de jure operations are carried out in the territories of Azerbaijan,” Pabriks said.
“We see the reluctance of the world community to support any belligerent side, on one hand, because peace is always better than war, but we must admit that international organizations and dialogues haven’t been crowned with success for 26 years,” said the deputy PM.
During the interview, the Latvian defense minister also commented on Latvia’s active participation in international peacekeeping missions, as well as the possibility of Latvia to go to Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the "blue helmets" under the UN mandate. “I don’t see such an opportunity in the near future, because in order to send peacekeepers, peace must first be restored,” he stressed.
“Presently, nothing indicates the peace. However, I specifically appealed to the Azerbaijani side, and if possible, I will also appeal to the Armenian side with a call to ensure conditions that the civilian population doesn’t suffer from any military operations and humanitarian issues do not arise. Issues related to the civilian population, refugees, international observers should have a high priority. This is perfectly clear. Therefore, we hope for an early cessation of hostilities, a legal solution to this issue, which will suffer as few civilians as possible, refugees and internally displaced persons who were forced to leave this region in the early 1990s, will finally return to their homes,” Pabriks stressed.
Armenian Armed Forces launched a large-scale military attack on positions of Azerbaijani army on the front line, using large-caliber weapons, mortars and artillery on Sept. 27.
Azerbaijan responded with a counter-offensive along the entire front. As a result of retaliation, Azerbaijani troops liberated a number of territories previously occupied by Armenia, as well as take important, strategic heights under control.
The fighting continued into October 2020, in the early days of which Armenia has launched missile attacks on Azerbaijani cities of Ganja, Mingachevir, Khizi as well as Absheron district.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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