Remarks by Ambassador Sedat Önal, Permanent Representative of Türkiye to the United Nations, at a UN Security Council Briefing on Armenia and Azerbaijan

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August 16, 2023

Madam President,

Thank you for inviting us to this meeting.

As a country with vested interests in regional peace and stability and actively engaged in initiatives towards this objective, Türkiye is concerned with the attempts of Armenia to exploit international platforms, including the UN Security Council, to express politically motivated and unsubstantiated allegations regarding the Lachin Road.

We need to address this issue in its proper context.

First and foremost, the legitimate concerns of Azerbaijan have to be taken into account and its inherent sovereign rights have to be respected.

Azerbaijan has been expressing concerns on the abuse of the Lachin Road for supplying armed groups and illegal mine exploitation in Karabakh for a long time.

However, these concerns and sensitivities were not taken into account and Azerbaijan felt obliged to take measures on its own territory as it deemed appropriate within the framework of its sovereign rights.

We know that Azerbaijan has exercised care to observe humanitarian considerations while these measures were implemented.

As a matter of fact, medical evacuations through the Lachin Road is possible and Azerbaijan has already allocated the Aghdam-Khankendi route for supplying needs of the Armenian residents in Karabakh.

Moreover, Azerbaijan has demonstrated its willingness to establish dialogue with the representatives of the local Armenian people to address the issue in a substantial manner.

Unfortunately, Azerbaijan’s sincere efforts have not been reciprocated.

Madam President,

We remain convinced as Türkiye that there is a historical opportunity for comprehensive peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

To this end, we expressed our commitment to a full normalization process with Armenia and took steps in this direction. We continue to strongly support the peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

It is our firm belief that regional normalization can only be attained through dialogue and goodwill. We will continue to take part in, encourage and support efforts towards this goal.

I thank you.


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