Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has expressed concern over the possibility of a renewed outbreak of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Teachta Brady’s remarks were made following Armenian claims that 49 of its soldiers were killed in fighting just after midnight yesterday. Azerbaijan also claims that its forces have suffered losses but have not released figures.
Just under two years ago, in late 2020, 6,500 people were killed in a six-week conflict between the two countries over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. This was the second of two wars fought over the disputed territory. Over 30,000 were killed in a conflict in the 1980s.
With claims and counterclaims flying between the two states, Brady joined calls for both sides to observe the existing ceasefire.
The Wicklow TD said:
“I am very concerned at the recent outbreak of fighting on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is vitally important that both sides work to maintain the existing ceasefire agreement to prevent this latest incident from escalating.
“Previous outbreaks of violence, in the 1980s and in late 2020, led to widespread civilian casualties. Everything possible must be done to ensure that we do not witness a fresh outbreak of conflict here. I welcome calls from across the international community for calm and restraint.
“My understanding is that France will raise the issue at a meeting of the UN Security Council. It is critical that the international community does everything in its power to prevent any further escalation.
“Ireland must also use its position on the Security Council to ensure that both sides maintain the ceasefire. The dispute over the Nagorno – Karabakh region cannot and will not be resolved with violence, which would only result in more suffering for the civilian population on both sides.”