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PACE Speaker Denied Access to Lachin Corridor, Questions Azerbaijan's Unhindered Entry Claims

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Paul Gavan PACE speaker

During the PACE summer session on 'Ensuring free and safe access through the Lachin Corridor,' Paul Gavan, a speaker at the session, emphasized that he was not referring to the relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan but to the issue of blocking the Lachin Corridor.

Gavan stated that he visited Armenia as part of the investigation into the Lachin Corridor but did not receive an invitation from Azerbaijan. Furthermore, he was denied access to the corridor, which contradicts Azerbaijan's claims of unhindered entry. "The conclusion I made is that there is neither free nor safe movement in the Lachin corridor," Gavan asserted, questioning the extent of the corridor's accessibility if the Red Cross faces difficulties delivering humanitarian aid to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).

The PACE deputy also pointed out the use of hate speech and threats by the top leadership of Azerbaijan and presented clear examples, condemning such speech as entirely unacceptable. He stressed the importance of adhering to the provisions of the trilateral statement and proposed sending a fact-finding group to Nagorno-Karabakh. Gavan called on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to join the Council of Europe documents on the protection of minority rights.

At the same PACE summer session, during discussions on 'Ensuring free and safe movement through the Lachin Corridor,' Ruben Rubinyan, head of the Armenian Parliament delegation to the PACE, highlighted the prolonged blockade of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. He mentioned that for months, they have been under complete siege and are unable to receive even humanitarian aid since it is not allowed to reach Artsakh.

Rubinyan expressed his satisfaction that PACE could assess the situation on the ground and extended gratitude to the rapporteur Paul Gavan for his efforts. He criticized the actions of Azerbaijan, accusing them of keeping the people of Artsakh under siege while simultaneously labeling them as "enemies" and "cancer." Rubinyan stressed the potential consequences of such actions and called on the Azerbaijani delegate, Samad Seidov, to explain the derogatory remarks such as calling Armenians "cancer of Europe."


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