Nagorno-Karabakh - Communiqué issued by Jean-Yves Le Drian (2 October 2020)

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I spoke in turn to the Armenian Foreign Minister, Mr Mnatsakanyan, and the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Mr Bayramov, to discuss the major crisis under way in Nagorno-Karabakh since 27 September. The conversations built on many discussions held between France and those two countries since Sunday, at every level, particularly between the French President, Prime Minister Pachinyan and President Aliyev.

During the discussions, I once again expressed the urgent need to secure an end to hostilities, immediately and without preconditions. Their continuation would only increase the number of casualties – particularly civilian ones –, the material and human costs endured by both sides, and the threat of an uncontrolled escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I warned my interlocutors about the threat of the conflict being internationalized.

In the spirit of the American, French and Russian Presidents’ statement on 1 October, I emphasized France’s determination, as Co-Chair of the Minsk Group, to play its full role, impartially, in securing an end to hostilities and the immediate resumption of substantial negotiations without preconditions, under the aegis of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE’s Minsk Group.

Finally, I thanked my interlocutors for their respective contributions to the medical evacuation under way of the two Le Monde journalists injured in Nagorno-Karabakh yesterday.