GLOBAL APPEAL BY HIS HOLINESS ARAM I, CATHOLICOS OF THE ARMENIAN CHURCH, HOLY SEE OF CILICIA ON THE BLOCKADE OF “LACHIN CORRIDOR”

  • 17.12.2022
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The Armenian Church, Holy See of Cilicia condemns, in the strongest possible terms, Azerbaijan’s blockade of the only road connecting Artsakh to Armenia—the Lachin Corridor. The Lachin Corridor is a patent lifeline for the Armenians of Artsakh, secured by the Trilateral Statement of 10 November 2020, to provide them unfettered access to and from Armenia. In violation of its international commitments, Azerbaijan has blockaded the road and severed Artsakh from Mother Armenia. A grave humanitarian crisis of historic proportion is materializing. The 120,000 residents of Artsakh remain completely trapped for a third day. They are deprived of food supplies, medication, and other essentials from the outside world. Another 1,100 Artsakh Armenians remain stranded on the blocked road, unable to return to their homes and families—among them, the elderly and 270 children. Alarmingly still, Azerbaijan has cut the gas supply from Armenia to Artsakh, leaving this isolated population with diminishing supplies, struggling to survive—without heat—in subzero winter conditions. Hospitals, schools, and social services are unable to properly operate; the outlook grows ominously grim. A dire humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding, specifically engineered to eliminate the Armenian population of Artsakh.
 
We are witnessing deliberate and concrete steps toward the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Armenian population of Artsakh. It is a policy that Azerbaijan has pursued relentlessly since the beginning of the conflict, as evidenced by Azerbaijan’s pogroms and massacres of Armenians in Baku, Sumgait, Kirovabad and other cities. Shockingly, it is reminiscent of the infamous “Operation Ring”, in the spring of 1991, when Azerbaijan attempted to encircle, then strangle, the Armenian population of Artsakh to exterminate them. The imminent threat of genocide looms weightily again on the now isolated and encircled Armenian population. The need for immediate humanitarian action is critical. It is mandated legally and morally as well.
 
As such, I must call upon world governments, specialized organizations, spiritual leaders, political figures, human rights activists and our Armenia Diaspora to take immediate stock of the quickly deteriorating situation in Artsakh and to not remain indifferent to the fate of the Armenian people, once again on the brink of genocide. I call upon you to act decisively, to urge your governments to condemn Azerbaijan’s actions, to demand that sanctions be imposed against Azerbaijan, and to take all rightful action with conviction and resolve to save the people of Artsakh from imminent extermination.

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