U.S. calls for long-term, independent monitoring mission in Nagorno-Karabakh
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 4, ARMENPRESS. A longer-term, independent, international monitoring mission should be sent to Nagorno-Karabakh to provide transparency and reassurances that the rights and securities of ethnic Armenians will be protected, U.S. State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel has said.
“The United States is going to continue to play a role in engaging with Azerbaijani and Armenian leadership at the highest levels to pursue a dignified and durable peace,” Patel said at a press briefing. “And you’ve also seen us, over the course of this past week and beyond, reiterate our call for a longer-term, independent, international monitoring mission in Nagorno-Karabakh to provide transparency and reassurances that the rights and securities of ethnic Armenians will be protected, particularly for those who may wish to return, and for the protection of cultural heritage sites, which all of course is in line with Azerbaijan’s public statements and their international obligations as well,” he added.
The State Department spokesperson was also asked to comment on Armenia joining the Rome Statute of the ICC.
“Well, we respect Armenia’s sovereignty and independence, and we’ll leave it to Armenia’s Government to comment on its legislative processes, of course. We respect the right of every country to join the ICC and have been encouraged by many states, including Armenia, that have undertaken commitments to promote justice, accountability for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity,” Patel said.
Asked to comment on a UN team’s report claiming they did not see any damage to civilian infrastructure during a visit to NK, Patel said: “So we certainly appreciate those comments from the UN spokesperson. But that does not change the United States’ point of view on this. As I just said to Alex, we continue to believe, even in the light of the UN visit, that there is a strong desire and a need for a longer-term, independent international monitoring mission in Nagorno-Karabakh. We think that that will provide transparency; we think that it will provide the appropriate reassurances for the various rights and securities that we continue to be deeply concerned about.”
On October 3, a senior Armenian diplomat strongly criticized the UN team, saying that it was “discrediting the UN as an institution.”