I’d like to thank the Albanian Chairmanship for calling today’s Special Permanent Council. I’d also like to thank Ambassador Kasprzyk for his report.
The UK is deeply concerned by the ongoing military action along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the humanitarian impact it is having not only on the lives of the people who live there but also regional stability. We are particularly concerned about reports of civilian casualties.
I would like to offer my condolences to the families of all those who have been killed. We particularly regret that this conflict is escalating when the world should be uniting to defeat the Coronavirus pandemic and the UN Secretary General has called for a global ceasefire for the last 100 days of 2020.
We strongly support the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-chairs and the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office to stabilise the situation and we urge the sides to refrain from any acts or rhetoric that could further aggravate tensions on the ground. We express solidarity and support with the statements made by Chairperson-in-Office, Prime Minister Rama, and by the Minsk Group Co-chairs. We are reinforcing their calls for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire to hostilities in our engagements with actors in the region.
There can be no military solution to this conflict. A sustainable peace can only be brought about by a negotiated settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan and we urge them both to return to the negotiating table and engage with the Minsk Group co-chairs without any preconditions.
We urge all international partners to support an end to hostilities and to press for a return to negotiations towards a peaceful settlement.
Finally, I would like to reiterate full support for vital role of OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and their work towards finding resolution to the crisis.