Commentary on the statement by the UN Population Fund regarding the situation around the Lachin road
A biased, misguiding and out-of-mandate statement by the UN Population Fund (UNPF) of January 24 on the situation around the Lachin road is surprising and regrettable.
It is unacceptable for the UNPF to issue a statement on legitimate protest of Azerbaijanis, while failing to express views about the plight of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani families, who, as a result of Armenia’s military aggression against Azerbaijan, have been displaced from their homes for 30 years, lived for years in tent cities, abandoned train cars, camps in an environment with unhealthy conditions, deprived of education, healthcare and all other rights.
Peaceful protests on the Lachin road, sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, with the demand to prevent the illegal exploitation of Azerbaijan’s natural resources, the transportation of these resources from Azerbaijan to Armenia, and the abuse of the Lachin road, which is intended only for humanitarian purposes, is the legitimate right of the Azerbaijani people.
Illegal activities in the places of compact settlement of Armenian residents in the territories of Azerbaijan are a threat to the national security of Azerbaijan, and it is of utmost importance to stop such activities. In this regard, in accordance with the Trilateral Statement dated November 10, 2020, the Republic of Azerbaijan shall guarantee the safety of citizens, vehicles and goods traveling along the Lachin road in both directions. The security guarantee also includes the prevention of abuse of the Lachin road.
As indicated in the statements issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the past month, no obstacles are being created by the protesters to the movement of vehicles and residents on the Lachin road, and the claims of protests causing a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the region are baseless. Since the beginning of the protests, more than 1,000 vehicles using the road have provided residents with essential goods, medical supplies and necessary medical services. The Government of Azerbaijan has also repeatedly stated that it is ready to promptly resolve all humanitarian needs that Armenian residents may require. Despite these, the people who present themselves as “leaders” of the Armenian residents continue to use the local population as a shield and prevent their freedom of movement in order to continue their illegal activities.
Therefore, we call on the UN Population Fund to be impartial and refrain from actions and statements that would harm the reputation of the organization.