Nagorno Karabakh: FDFA calls for an end to violence and supports ICRC humanitarian operations

Press releases, 21.10.2020

Bern, 20.10.2020 - The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) has allocated CHF 1 million for the humanitarian operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The FDFA also calls for an immediate stop to the violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Attacks on the civilian population and civilian objects must cease. The parties to the conflict are called upon to comply with international humanitarian law.

The ICRC is providing humanitarian assistance to the population of the areas affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The FDFA decided earlier today to contribute CHF 1 million to the ICRC's humanitarian operations. This contribution is also being made in response to an appeal by the ICRC.

Furthermore, the FDFA expresses Switzerland's regret that the humanitarian ceasefires of 10 and 17 October have not been respected. It reiterates its call to the parties to the conflict to stop the violence and condemns the ongoing shelling of residential areas.

The FDFA also calls on both parties to comply with international humanitarian law. The protection of the civilian population and persons hors de combat, and the observance of the principles of distinction and proportionality are paramount. This also means that cluster munitions must not be used, as such weapons do not make any distinction between civilians and combatants.

It is only by peaceful means that a lasting solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be found. The FDFA therefore calls on both parties to the conflict to resume meaningful negotiations without delay or preconditions. Switzerland supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and is ready to continue to participate in high-level meetings, as it has done in the past. Switzerland also welcomes the efforts of Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, to resume monitoring as soon as the situation allows.