I was deeply concerned by the return of conflict to Nagorno-Karabakh on 19 September. The ceasefire announced on 20 September must now be upheld by all parties, and the UK Government has been clear that the Azerbaijani Government must continue to engage in talks with ethnic Armenian representatives in Nagorno-Karabakh and ensure that it delivers on its humanitarian commitments. Lord Ahmad, the Minister of State for the United Nations, raised this at the UN Security Council on 21 September 2023, and with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister on 23 September.
More broadly, the UK Government is clear that there is no military solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. I know that UK officials continue to raise the urgent need to resolve the conflict through negotiations in direct talks with the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides, as well as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the UN Security Council. In line with this, the UK is spending £1 million on conflict-related programming in Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2022-23 through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.
Indeed, the UK continues to urge both Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue to do all they can to reduce tensions and avoid further escalation, including through Azerbaijan making clear its respect for Armenia’s sovereignty and making clear its respect for the rights and security of the remaining ethnic Armenian community in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Direct Dialogue is the only way to secure stability for the region; I hope that this response has assured you that the UK Government is doing all it can to encourage all sides to work together in the interests of their citizens. I will continue to monitor developments closely.