By Mark Dovich
France will raise Tuesday’s attack on Armenia by Azerbaijan at the United Nations Security Council, Reuters has reported, citing French President Emmanuel Macron’s office.
France is one of five permanent members on the council and, alongside Russia and the United States, co-chairs the Minsk Group, a body that has led efforts to mediate a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan for many years, largely without result.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke with Macron by phone early Tuesday, hours after Azerbaijani troops launched simultaneous attacks on a number of towns and villages in Armenia’s eastern and southern Gegharkunik, Vayots Dzor, and Syunik regions.
Meanwhile, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led military alliance, announced it would “organize work to activate CSTO mechanisms” in response to the fighting, though it remains unclear what exactly that would entail. Armenia is a founding member of the alliance.
Armenia earlier in the day formally appealed for assistance from both the CSTO and UN after Pashinyan convened an emergency session of the country’s Security Council overnight.
Armenia has reported 49 soldiers killed in action so far and three civilians injured, one critically. Azerbaijan has said its forces have also sustained casualties, but it has yet to release any figures.
Clashes continued along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border as of 1 p.m. local time. Meanwhile, the line of contact between Karabakh Armenian and Azerbaijani troops remains “relatively stable,” the authorities in Stepanakert reported.
The fighting, now stretching past its twelfth hour, has prompted a flurry of high-level diplomatic activity in the region and beyond, as calls for an immediate cessation to the hostilities pour in from the international community.