40 tonnes of humanitarian cargo dispatched to Khankendi
    A litmus test for Garabagh Armenians

    REPORTS  30 August 2023 - 09:17

    Orkhan Amashov

    On 29 August, the Azerbaijani Red Crescent Society dispatched two trucks of humanitarian aid, comprising 40 tonnes of flour, destined for the Armenian residents of Azerbaijan's Garabagh Region.

    “We are within the territory of the warehouse of the State Reserves Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Today, representatives of the Azerbaijani Red Crescent Society, together with humanitarian trucks, will be travelling from Baku to Aghdam”.

    In view of the failure of the International Committee of the Red Cross to deliver humanitarian supplies from Aghdam to Khankendi, in line with Azerbaijani legislation, and in accordance with established international practice,  there are some expectations and hopes that this effort will be of consequence and lead to a breakthrough in this intransigent situation.

    The cargo destined to meet the needs of Armenian residents of Garabagh will, firstly, be sent to Aghdam, from whence it is expected to be delivered to Khankandi via the Aghdam-Khankandi highway, which is ready to operate at full capacity.

    “We hope that this step will be positively received by the Armenians living in Khankendi and the international community. If we can undertake the evaluation process in the future, we will be able to deliver any other products they need,” said Novruz Aslan, President of Azerbaijan’s Red Crescent Society.

    “The Society’s philosophy is to help every person in need, regardless of race, religion or nationality,” added Aslan.

    Jeyhun Mirzayev, Executive Secretary of the Society, in response to the question as to whether the trucks despatched from Baku will eventually make it to the final destination, replied: “We don’t know what will happen in the future. We have decided to help all people in need. They announced to the world that they are in a big humanitarian catastrophic situation. As I said before, irrespective of religion or nationality, we have to help all people in need”.

    Azerbaijan has repeatedly offered the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi Road for the purpose of sending large humanitarian convoys. On 15 July, Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed on the principle of complementarity between the Lachin and Aghdam-Khankendi Roads. Despite the fact that the former is operational for the transfer of those Armenian residents of Garabagh in need of medical assistance and for medical deliveries, the vast potential of the latter remains regrettably unused. The importance of the route emanating from Aghdam was also acknowledged during the 16 August UN Security Council session.

    The effort made by Azerbaijan’s Red Crescent Society is another litmus test that should provide an answer to the question as to whether the situation facing the local Armenians of the region is of a humanitarian nature or one of political character.  What seems to be very obvious is that, if supplies are rejected by the separatists, that which is presented to the world as a blockade of Garabagh Armenians will appear as more than self-imposed.


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