OSCE Chairperson-in-Office condemns recent violations of ceasefire agreement along line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakhstan's Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev strongly condemns the recent violations of the ceasefire agreement along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the press service of Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry reported today.
"I am concerned about the increase in casualties on both sides," the document says, RIA Novosti reported.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office emphasizes that any violation of the ceasefire would destabilize the process of negotiations in the framework of the Minsk Conference, limiting opportunities to enhance constructive dialogue. In this regard, he supports today's statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs calling on the parties to the conflict to exercise restraint, and to strictly observe the ceasefire and refrain from inflammatory public statements.
"The intensified efforts of the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group to foster a spirit of compromise ahead of the Summit in Astana will only be successful if all sides to the conflict demonstrate a genuine interest in achieving progress," the document says.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent 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 negotiations to resolve the dispute.
Armenia has failed to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions stipulating the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.