After Azerbaijan’s victory in Nagorno-Karabakh, many fear ethnic cleansing. In addition to US Foreign Minister Blinken, Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock is now also calling for international observers to be sent to the conflict region.
A few days after the defeat of pro-Armenian fighters against Azerbaijani troops in Nagorno-Karabakh, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is calling for international observers to be sent to the Caucasus region.
“Nobody really knows how the people there are doing and what they have to go through,” said Baerbock. “We now need transparency and the eyes and ears of the international community on site. Together with our partners, we will work with all our might to send observers as quickly as possible.”
The Green politician appealed to the Azerbaijani government to accept such a deployment. If Azerbaijan allowed the observers, it would be a “vote of trust” that Azerbaijan is serious “with its commitments to the security and well-being of the people,” Baerbock continued.
Azerbaijan apparently wants to accept mission
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to allow an international observer mission in a phone call on Tuesday. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said afterwards that Aliyev would accept a mission. The US expected him to stick to it – as well as to the promise not to take any further military action.
More funding pledged for humanitarian aid
Foreign Minister Baerbock also promised to significantly increase humanitarian aid for Nagorno-Karabakh. The additional funding for the International Committee of the Red Cross would be increased from two to five million euros.
“Even after the first transports through the Latschin corridor, after the months-long blockade, there is still a lack of almost everything that is needed for a life in dignity: food, medicine or sanitary products,” said Baerbock. Baku began blocking the only connecting road between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh at the end of 2022. The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the humanitarian care for the local people had caused international concern.
Thousands on the run
Thousands of people from Nagorno-Karabakh have now left the Caucasus region in the middle of Azerbaijan and found refuge in Armenia. According to the Armenian government, more than 42,000 ethnic Armenians have arrived there so far. To date, almost 120,000 ethnic Armenians have lived in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The two countries have been fighting over the region for decades. Yerevan has accused Baku of planning “ethnic cleansing” in the Caucasus region after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military offensive there last week. Baku wants to fully reintegrate the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh into its territory.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Health Ministry said 192 soldiers were killed and more than 500 injured in last week’s offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh.