NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia at NATO Headquarters on Tuesday 21 October 2020. Mr. Stoltenberg said that Armenia is a valued partner for NATO and thanked President Sarkissian for the contributions that Armenia has made to NATO missions and operations over the years, including in Afghanistan.
The Secretary General also addressed the crisis in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. He highlighted that NATO is not involved in the conflict, and both Armenia and Azerbaijan have been valued NATO partners for more than 25 years. The Secretary General said that NATO is deeply concerned by ongoing violations of the ceasefire, which have caused tragic loss of life. He said, “it is important for NATO and international security that hostilities end, the suffering stops, and a peaceful solution is found.” He called on both sides to show restraint, observe the ceasefire, and de-escalate now. The Secretary General stressed that any targeting of civilians is unacceptable and must stop, and all must now work towards a sustainable political solution. Mr. Stoltenberg urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume negotiations to reach a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and said the efforts of the co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group continue to be essential.