PM Nikol Pashinyan at the May 12, 2021 Security Council meeting (courtesy president.am)

Acting PM Pashinyan Holds Security Council Meeting on Azerbaijan’s Syunik Encroachment

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YEREVAN (president.am) – Armenia’s Security Council held an extraordinary sitting, chaired by Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on May 12. The Council discussed the situation at the border section of Sev Lich in Syunik Marz of Armenia and the steps to take in this connection.

Addressing the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan stated, in part: “Today’s Security Council sitting is dedicated to the events taking place at the border section close to Sev Lich in Syunik Marz and the surrounding area. Earlier today Azerbaijan’s armed forces crossed the state border of the Republic of Armenia and advanced as far as 3.5 kilometers in that section. In fact, they are trying to surround and besiege the lake.

“Of course, this is unacceptable to the Armenian side, because it represents an encroachment on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. It still remains to be seen why such an action was possible, but it should be noted that this is an act of subversive infiltration. It should also be stated that our armed forces responded early this morning with appropriate tactical maneuvers and other necessary measures.

“However, it should be noted that these actions of Azerbaijan’s armed forces were not combined with the use of firearms or any other weapon. They are trying to justify their move with some fake maps. We still have in our possession a map approved by the central government in Soviet era, which clearly shows where the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan runs.

“However, the current situation is unacceptable to us; the Republic of Armenia cannot simply accept it, but given what we have now, our primary task is to settle the matter through negotiations, through diplomatic means. This is one of the options.

“I want us to make it clear that we cannot in any way tolerate and come to terms with the situation at hand. Today, the Security Council will address the situation, our counteraction, possible scenarios, and the connectivity between such scenarios.

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“In the meantime, I should note that this situation has unfortunately given rise to political speculations. I would like to reiterate that no attempt should be made to use external security threats for internal political purposes, as this is a matter of national security; we need to focus on the problem and its solution.

“I wish to reiterate that any piece of information about shootings, hostilities, injuries and casualties has nothing to do with reality. On the other hand, it should be noted that the situation is at least near-critical, if not critical. Were it not for that, we would not have to convene a Security Council meeting. Anyway, we need to keep calm in this situation. On the other hand, we need to be consistent in terms of defending our state and national interests, and we must make decisions about the steps to take and the tools to use.”

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