Vital Humanitarian Aid Shipments Delivered To Nagorno-Karabakh

September 19, 2023 at 08:25

Vital Humanitarian Aid Shipments Delivered To Nagorno-Karabakh

By RFE/RL's Armenian Service September 18, 2023

Vital supplies were delivered on September 18 to Nagorno-Karabakh, the mainly ethnic Armenian breakaway region of Azerbaijan that has effectively been cut off from the outside world for months now.

Some 23 tons of medical supplies and wheat flour were trucked in by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the de facto Armenian authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said, confirming earlier announcements by the ICRC and officials in Baku.

Armenia, which backs the separatists, has accused Azerbaijan of blocking the Lachin Corridor -- the sole road linking Armenia to mainly ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh -- since December 2022, causing a humanitarian crisis in the mountainous region.

Azerbaijan has insisted that aid trucks should go through the town of Agdam, in Azerbaijani territory, to ensure no contraband was being shipped, and have blocked the Lachin route through Armenian territory.

Nagorno-Karabakh officials, however, have claimed it is an effort by Baku to control aid shipments and reestablish authority over the region away from ethnic Armenian leaders.

The aid delivery comes a day after the de facto leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh and Baku reached an agreement to allow "simultaneous deliveries of humanitarian cargo" through the Lachin Corridor and on the Agdam road.

Mediators in the volatile regional conflict are also attempting to organize a meeting of representatives from Armenia and Azerbaijan "to soften the tense humanitarian and security situation," separatist sources told RFE/RL, without identifying the mediators.

On September 12, Nagorno-Karabakh authorities agreed to allow Russia-provided aid to be delivered directly from Baku-controlled territory via the Agdam road, while in return Azerbaijani authorities agreed to allow simultaneous aid deliveries to the breakaway region through the Lachin Corridor.

U.S. and European leaders have called for Azerbaijan to ease the transit of humanitarian aid to the beleaguered region, which is experiencing shortages of food, energy, and medicine.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian-populated enclave that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The most recent war lasted six weeks in late 2020 and left 7,000 soldiers dead on both sides.

Source: humanitarian-aid-azerbaijan/32597670.html

Copyright (c) 2023. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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