Pope expresses concern over humanitarian situation in South Caucasus
By Devin Watkins
Since 12 December, Azerbaijan has reportedly blocked the Lachin Corridor, a mountain road which links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.
On Sunday, Pope Francis invited all parties to find “peaceful solutions for the good of the people.”
Around 120,000 Armenians, including 30,000 children, live in the enclave, and the alleged road closure has isolated them from the world and deprived them of food, medicine, and basic necessities.
Families have reportedly been separated, and many are unable to reach Armenia for adequate medical treatment.
‘Precarious humanitarian conditions’
The Pope said he is “concerned about the situation created in the Lachin Corridor in the South Caucasus.”
“I am concerned about the precarious humanitarian conditions of the people, which are in further danger of deteriorating during the winter season,” he said.
EU calls for security of movement
The European Union has called on Azerbaijan to ensure freedom and security of movement along the Lachin Corridor, in line with the 9 November 2022 trilateral declaration signed by Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
EU officials have warned that blocking the Corridor causes significant hardship to the local population and could lead to a serious humanitarian emergency.
Azerbaijan has denied blocking the sole road that links Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.
In late 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a 6-week war over the region, which claimed over 6,500 lives.
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