Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.28
By Sabina Ahmadova Trend:
Separatists, with Armenia's support, continued to control most of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other Azerbaijani territories, the US State Department`s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 said.
The final status of Nagorno-Karabakh remained the subject of international mediation by the OSCE Minsk Group, cochaired by Russia, France, and the United States, the report said. "During the year shooting incidents continued along the militarized line of contact separating the two sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and resulted in numerous casualties on both sides."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Translated by S.I.