Skip to main content

Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Volume 732: debated on Tuesday 2 May 2023

12. What recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. (904724)

The UK values our relationships with both Armenia and Azerbaijan, and we work together on shared interests to advance regional stability, security and prosperity. There is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We continue to urge the parties to engage in substantive negotiations to secure a sustainable and peaceful settlement.

I recently attended the wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph commemorating the Armenian genocide 108 years ago. I was with His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan, the Armenian ambassador. With that in mind, can my hon. Friend tell me why the United Kingdom has not yet formally recognised the genocide, as many other countries have done?

Of course, it is a very sensitive subject, but the policy of the UK Government is that recognition of genocide is a matter for judicial decision rather than for Governments or non-judicial bodies. When an international legal body makes a judgment that the crime constitutes a genocide, that is a deciding factor in whether we use that term.

In Nagorno-Karabakh, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating rapidly. More than a dozen non-governmental organisations, including Genocide Watch, have stated that the conditions are ripe for ethnic cleansing. That is a very concerning situation for the 120,000 Armenians who live there. What further pressure can the Government bring to bear to end the blockade of the Lachin corridor?

We take this extremely seriously. We have urged all parties to return to the negotiating table and to reopen the Lachin corridor. I have spoken directly to the Foreign Ministers of both nations about this. Of course, we are very pleased that we have provided £1 million of humanitarian assistance to the International Committee of the Red Cross following the 2020 conflict.