India has called for restraint between Armenia and Azerbaijan over clashes that have erupted in past days leading to several casualties.
Calling the development “disturbing”, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Anurag Shrivastava said, “India is concerned over the situation which threatens regional peace and security. We reiterate the need for the sides to cease the hostilities immediately, keep restraint and take all possible steps to maintain peace at the border. India believes any lasting resolution to the conflict can only be achieved peacefully through diplomatic negotiation.”
Clashes have broken out between Christian Majority Armenia and Muslim majority Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has ethnic Armenians as a majority.
India has good ties with both countries. The North-South international transport corridor goes from Mumbai to Chabahar via Azerbaijan to Moscow, something crucial for India’s connectivity plans.
India’s former External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Azerbaijan in 2018.
Last year, PM Modi met Armenia’s PM Nikol Pashinyan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
After the meet, he tweeted, “Held extensive deliberations with PM NikolPashinyan. We talked about expanding India-Armenia cooperation in aspects relating to technology, pharmaceuticals and agro-based industries.”
During the meet, PM Pashinyan referred to the popularity of Indian movies, music and Yoga in Armenia.
Earlier this year when Armenian PM was detected with COVID, PM Modi tweeted for a speedy recovery. He said,”In this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic, wishing Armenian PM @NikolPashinyan and his family a speedy recovery. India stands with Armenia in the fight against COVID-19.”
Armenia backs India on some key several fronts. Last year in response to a WION question in New York on the sidelines of united nations general assembly that Turkey has been raking Kashmir, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan said,”In the Kashmir issue we fully defend the Indian position and it is our firm position.”