Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne was in Vienna immediately for conferences with officers of varied worldwide organizations and Austrian leaders to speak about flashpoints in Europe and Azerbaijan.
Champagne arrived in Austria from Greece as a part of his week-long tour of European capitals to debate with allies the tensions within the Eastern Mediterranean, the battle between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and the scenario in Belarus and Ukraine.
Champagne held conferences on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“It’s all about security today — Nagorno-Karabakh, the issue in Belarus, Ukraine obviously,” Champagne stated in a short video posted on his Twitter account.
Day three of my European tour. Today, I’m in <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vienna?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Vienna</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Austria?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Austria</a>. 🇨🇦🇦🇹 <a href=”https://t.co/nTrvfME1VF”>pic.twitter.com/nTrvfME1VF</a>
The OSCE performs an essential function within the seek for a negotiated resolution to the decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh battle by way of its Minsk Group mechanism. Champagne stated he held conferences on the OSCE with the U.S., Swedish, Albanian and French ambassadors and was additionally anticipated to fulfill with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Schallenberg.
Canada and its NATO and European allies are more and more apprehensive in regards to the affect of Turkey’s dispute with Greece within the Eastern Mediterranean and Ankara’s involvement within the Nagorno-Karabakh battle — which has the potential to attract the remainder of the North Atlantic alliance right into a army battle with Russia within the Southern Caucasus.
Violence in Nagorno-Karabakh continues
Despite diplomatic efforts to cease hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, combating between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces continued for the 18th straight day immediately as either side exchanged accusations and claims of recent assaults over the breakaway Armenian-populated territory.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan however has been underneath the management of its ethnic Armenian inhabitants, which voted in December of 1991 to interrupt away from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani authorities by no means acknowledged the outcomes of the referendum and their makes an attempt to regain the area by pressure had been defeated by native Armenian forces backed by Armenia.
As a results of the battle, which ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire in 1994, Armenian forces additionally captured seven districts of Azerbaijani territory which can be outdoors of the Armenian-populated area.
The battle within the 1990s resulted in almost 30,000 useless and about 1 million refugees. Russia brokered a truce on Oct. 9 to finish the newest spherical of combating and permit Armenian and Azerbaijani forces to gather their useless, change prisoners and start negotiations on resolving the decades-long battle. But it by no means took maintain.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone together with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, emphasizing the necessity to respect the truce that was violated instantly after taking impact Saturday.
Putin additionally voiced concern in regards to the involvement of militants from the Middle East within the battle — a reference to Turkey deploying pro-Turkish Syrian jihadist fighters towards Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Moscow is more and more involved in regards to the presence of Syrian jihadist fighters in Azerbaijan, which borders Russia’s restive Dagestan area within the jap Caucasus Mountains.
Erdogan denied deploying combatants to the area. A Syrian battle monitor and Syria-based opposition activists have acknowledged that Turkey has despatched lots of of Syrian opposition fighters to Nagorno-Karabakh.
In an additional signal that the battle is widening, Azerbaijan’s army stated it destroyed an Armenian missile system on the territory of Armenia correct that allegedly was positioned to focus on civilian areas.
Armenia’s Defence Ministry responded by stating that it reserves the correct to focus on Azerbaijani army property and troop actions.
So far, Armenia and Azerbaijan have denied concentrating on one another’s territory within the combating over Nagorno-Karabakh, though each events usually have contested such denials.
The risk of a wider battle
An growth of hostilities past Nagorno-Karabakh may set off a harmful escalation of the decades-old battle. Armenia has a mutual defence treaty with Russia, whereas Turkey, which has one of many largest militaries amongst NATO nations, has pledged to help Azerbaijan “on the battlefield and around the negotiating table,” within the phrases of Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Russia’s defence treaty with Armenia does not apply to Nagorno-Karabakh, however Putin has warned Azerbaijan and Turkey that if the combating spreads to Armenia correct, Moscow might be compelled to defend its ally.
In a sombre deal with to the nation on Wednesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan admitted that outgunned and outnumbered Armenian forces have suffered setbacks on the battlefield and accused Azerbaijan and Turkey of constant “Turkey’s genocidal policy” towards Armenians.
Champagne’s subsequent cease is Brussels, the place he’ll meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
Champagne can be planning to fulfill Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes earlier than transferring on to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, the place he’ll maintain a “mini-summit” together with his counterparts from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.