Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held telephone conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, France’s President Emanuel Macron and President Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien to discuss the recent escalation of hostilities after Azerbaijani forces on Sunday launched an attack along the entire border of Artsakh by indiscriminately bombing civilians and military targets.
In what was Pashinyan’s second call with Putin since an all out war broke out on Sunday, the two leaders continued their discussions over the military situation in Artsakh. They expressed “deep concerns over the ongoing military operations,” according Pashinyan’s press service.
They also expressed concerns over the participation of foreign militants and illegal armed groups from the Middle East in the conflict.
Pashinyan once again focused on Turkey’s extremely destabilizing behavior and its interference in the military operations.
Putin highlighted the need for an immediate end to the military operations and the resumption of the peace process in line with language of a joint statement issued Thursday by the president of OSCE Minsk Group chairing countries—Russia, the United States and France.
According to a Kremlin statement, Putin urged the parties to “take steps to de-escalate the crisis.”
During his conversation with Macron, Pashinyan “thanked France for its principled and constructive position as to the inadmissibility of launching military action,” said the prime minister’s press office. The parties decried the fact of involving foreign terrorist militants in the ongoing hostilities.
Pashinyan told Macron the involvement of Turkey-backed terrorists into the region is unacceptable. He emphasized that regional security could not be restored without ousting those destabilizing forces.
In the context of reinstating the peace process, Pashinyan highlighted the importance of close cooperation between the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and their countries.
Macron stressed the need for the immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of the peace process based on Thursday’s statement issued by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
In his conversation with O’Brien, Trump’s National Security Advisor, Pashinyan expressed concern over Turkey’s involvement in hostilities and its deployment of Syrian mercenaries and terrorists in Azerbaijan. The prime minister stressed on the need to oust the mercenaries and terrorists from the region, without which a ceasefire is impossible.
O’Brien expressed deep concern on the part of the United States over the situation in the South Caucasus. He reaffirmed the U.S. interest in establishing an immediate ceasefire, achieving stability, and the United States’ readiness to be of service to Armenia and the region.
O’Brien stressed that there is no military solution to the conflict and went on to reaffirm the position expressed by the U.S. President in Thursday’s joint statement.
In a related matter, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo again called for an end to hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh and said “third parties” must stay away from the conflict.
“We think outsiders ought to stay out,” Pompeo told FOX News late Thursday. “We’re urging a ceasefire. We want them both to back up.”
“We’ve spoken to the leadership in each of the two countries, asking them to do just that,” he said, referring to Armenia and Azerbaijan. “We’re hopeful that in the days ahead they’ll see that violence won’t resolve the conflicts that are there … and having third parties – other nations – join in that only exacerbates the problem.”
Pompeo did not explicitly point the finger at Turkey or other regional powers when he warned against “internationalization” of the Karabakh conflict.