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International Court of Justice Rules Azerbaijan Must Open Lachin Corridor


Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) welcomed today's International Court of Justice ruling that Azerbaijan must "take all measures...to ensure unimpeded movement of persons, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin Corridor in both directions" and thus exposes the farce that "environmental activists" were blockading the road. The ICJ noted that in accordance with Azerbaijan's obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the country must stop "hindrances of essential goods to the importation into Nagorno-Karabakh...causing shortages of food, medicine and other life-saving medical supplies." The ICJ also highlighted that Azerbaijan should adhere to its responsibilities outlined in the November 9, 2020 trilateral statement, which explicitly states that "The Republic of Azerbaijan shall guarantee the security of persons, vehicles and cargo moving along the Lachin Corridor in both directions." The ruling is based on a request by Armenia to apply provisional measures against Azerbaijan due to its blockade of the Lachin Corridor, which has been in effect since December 12, 2022. The blockade has caused a dire humanitarian crisis, and is in its third month, despite calls from the U.S. Department of State that the "closure of the Lachin Corridor has severe humanitarian implications and sets back the peace process," and publicly called "on the government of Azerbaijan to restore free movement through the corridor." The closure of the Lachin Corridor - which serves as a vital lifeline connecting the Republic of Artsakh to the Republic of Armenia - and its blockade prevents food, critical medical supplies, and other essentials from reaching 120,000 people, including 30,000 children, 20,000 elderly individuals, and 9,000 people with disabilities. Furthermore, Azerbaijan has sabotaged civilian infrastructure, including cutting off the natural gas supply. In addition, in a separate ruling unanimously, the ICJ rejected Azerbaijan's claim against Armenia for the alleged planting of landmines by Armenia.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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NR# 2023-05

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