Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
August 16, 2023
Let me start by thanking you, Director Wosornu, for being here with us this afternoon.
Colleagues, the United States is concerned about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. And we are deeply troubled by the closure of the Lachin Corridor, which has cut off access to essential goods and exacerbated the humanitarian situation. Access to food, medicine, baby formula, and energy should never be held hostage.
We urge the government of Azerbaijan to restore free movement through the corridor – so commercial, humanitarian, and private vehicles can reach the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
We also note the possibility of compromise on additional routes for humanitarian supplies. And understand that, since last December, the ICRC has facilitated medical transfers for more than 700 people in need of medical care thanks to a critical lifeline for medically vulnerable individuals through the Lachin Corridor. Neutral, impartial, humane, and independent humanitarian access and assistance – including medical transfers – must not be hindered. Full stop.
Colleagues, I want to stress the need for the parties to continue talks aimed at a lasting, peaceful resolution to the conflict – and the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. These peace discussions require all parties to exercise creativity, flexibility, and compromise. And let me be clear: peace in the region must include protections for the rights and security of individuals in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The United States urges restraint and the immediate cessation of any activities that undermine the peace process. And we call on all sides to fully meet their obligations under international humanitarian law. The international community must continue to engage diplomatically to facilitate dialogue and a durable, dignified peace.
Negotiations are vital to a lasting peace. And we support any format that allows Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue dialogue toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We encourage all parties to engage in direct talks, including between officials in Baku and representatives of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The United States is committed to promoting a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future for the South Caucasus region. And we will continue to engage bilaterally and multilaterally with all partners to help build this brighter future.