CSTO Leaders Call for End to Kessab Crisis

Foreign Ministers of CSTO countries meet in Moscow, April 3, 2014.

MOSCOW—The Foreign Ministers of the constituent countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) met in Moscow on Thursday, where they adopted a statement voicing concern for the situation in the Armenian-populated town of Kessab, Syria, and its surrounding region.

The leaders expressed their “deep concern” over the occupation of Kessab by al-Qaeda-linked armed groups, which resulted in the displacement of 2000 Armenians from the historically Armenian town.

“We severely criticize terrorist actions and the application of force against the peaceful population,” the statement said. “We support the speediest halt to violence and secure return of refugees. We are convinced that the normalization of the situation is possible only with the exclusion of external interference and violence, through a broad-based political dialogue, considering the interests of all Syrians regardless of their ethnicity and religious affiliation,” the statement read.

The CSTO Foreign Ministers urged all interested parties to work in full compliance with international law and to end the bloodshed in Syria and reach a peaceful solution on the basis of the Geneva Convention of June 30, 2012.”

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