AZERBAIJAN Armenian Primate: Conflicting Yerevan and Baku touch a ‘sensitive nerve’; confidence and will is required

The tension between the two countries increased again in recent days. More than 150 people were killed in the clashes, most of them soldiers. The offensive was not confined to Nagorno-Karabakh and even crossed the borders of Armenian territory. Moscow’s mediation and the conflict in Ukraine. Patriarch Minassian: “They bombed the houses in the middle of the night, there are houses destroyed and burned.”

Yerevan () – They are touching a “sensitive nerve” that cyclically feeds tension and is a source of “nervousness”. And of deaths. With these words, the Armenian Catholic Patriarch Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian comments to the new wave of clashes in recent days between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The clash culminated in the last few hours with the achievement of a fragile truce between the parties, which seems to be holding despite the many obstacles and weaknesses on the ground. But it came at a cost: at least 105 dead in Yerevan’s ranks, most of them army soldiers, while Baku speaks of about 50 dead in the regular army.

The civilians were left in the middle of the confrontation, as confirmed by the primate: “they bombed the houses in the middle of the night, there are houses destroyed and burned.” This time the violence not only affected Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist territory within Azerbaijan where the majority of the population is Armenian, but even crossed the borders of the Armenian territory, and hundreds of people were forced to flee.

Two years after the last bloody conflict, on the night of September 12-13, the Azerbaijani armed forces launched an offensive along the western border. It was an operation with mortars and drones that entered Armenian territory, reaching Vardenis, Sotk, Artanish, Ishkhanasar, Goris, Jermu and Kapan.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian accused his Azerbaijani counterpart of violating the 2020 ceasefire and attack indiscriminately. In recent weeks, provocations between the two sides have intensified, with several signs of escalation. For example, on August 25, the Azeris took control of Lachin, a town in the disputed region that opens a corridor of a few kilometers to reach Armenia.

During the hostilities, Russia was a key mediator, but its role and commitment appear to have been reduced since the offensive in Ukraine began. [operación especial o guerra de invasión, según las partes]. Today, Yerevan awaits the arrival of a delegation from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a six-state military alliance led by Moscow that has cultivated good relations with Baku, a major supplier of raw materials. The Armenian government has requested the Kremlin’s help, but faces internal opposition. Street demonstrations are calling for the prime minister’s resignation in response to rumors of a possible deal that would grant vast territories to Azerbaijan.

The Armenian people, who have resisted “their sacrifice in silence” for more than 100 years because of the genocide, “feel forgotten” by the international community “despite the suffering of the past”, explains the primacy of the local Church. And “even those who have the ability and the ability to help” do not budge. “Where are those who have the ability to help?” asks Patriarch Minassian, although without giving names. We have lost the contribution of the nations that can give us a hand, they remain silent, perhaps because remaining silent benefits them. For the Patriarch, “there is little interest in reaching a real peace agreement”, but the “support of the 10 million Armenians in the diaspora is a great consolation”. “We do not have huge oil or gas reserves, but we can count on our brains, in our country or abroad,”

“I am not against dialogue and peace”, he continues, “but when I receive an attack of this magnitude, it prevents me from having a dialogue. The international community and the Azeris must understand that these methods do not promote dialogue or reconciliation”. For true peace, which is definitive and lasting”, concludes the Patriarch, “time and will are needed. And trust, although it is difficult to face to aggression”.

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Written by Editor TLN

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