“The United States needs to explain whether it gave those F-16s to bomb peaceful populations” – PM Nikol Pashinyan’s interview to The New York Times
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave an interview to The New York Times, in which he referred to the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh. Below is the NYT article about the interview.
“As Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan talked over the phone on Thursday with President Trump’s national security adviser, he raised a delicate issue: Why is nothing being done to stop a longtime United States ally, Turkey, from using American-made F-16 jets against ethnic Armenians? Mr. Pashinyan’s call to the national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, followed an eruption of heavy fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.
Mr. Pashinyan said in a telephone interview that the conflict has taken on a far more dangerous dimension because of Turkey’s direct military intervention in support of Azerbaijan.
The conflict has set off alarms about the risks of a wider war and put the United States, with its large and politically influential Armenian Diaspora, in the uncomfortable position of watching Turkey, a vital NATO ally, deploying F-16 jets in support of Armenia’s enemies.
“The United States,” Mr. Pashinyan said, “needs to explain whether it gave those F-16s to bomb peaceful villages and peaceful populations.” He said that Mr. O’Brien had “heard and acknowledged” his concerns.
Mr. Pashinyan declined to say whether Armenia might be ready to surrender any territory to Azerbaijan as part of a possible peace settlement, insisting that this was not up to him but a matter for the leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh.
For Armenia, Mr. Pashinyan said, the current fighting, which began Sept. 27 after months of rising tensions, poses an “existential threat” because of the role of Turkey, whose precursor, the Ottoman Empire, killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the end of World War I. The U.S. Congress and many countries have declared the killings “genocide,” a wording that Turkey strenuously rejects.”