Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 4
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
After the Sochi Summit of Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian presidents the situation on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops calmed down significantly, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Personal Representative, Andrzej Kasprzyk said Sept. 4 in an interview with Trend.
Kasprzyk said the situation on the contact line of troops was very tense at the beginning of August.
"Intrusions, casualties and targeting of villages and civilians were reported. The OSCE chairperson-in-office, the co-chairs of the Minsk Group and representatives of other countries and international organisations called for strict observance of the ceasefire," he noted.
Kasprzyk went on to say that at the Sochi Summit, on Aug. 10, this issue was discussed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"After the summit the situation stabilized and according to reports I have received, it has calmed down significantly. This is very positive and I hope it will continue this way," he stressed.
He added that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs visit the region periodically and hold meetings with the leaderships in search for a solution to the conflict.
The OSCE representative said the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia is in force through the agreement reached between the parties and its observance depends on the parties' will.
"Ultimately it is their responsibility to ensure that their troops do not violate the ceasefire," he stressed.
Kasprzyk went on to add that he is ready to assist in any way possible to build confidence, adding that he works continuously to present ideas in accordance with his mandate.
"I offer the chance for local commanders to talk directly to each other using OSCE radios during monitoring exercises, and support any measures that the parties might consider useful to lower the number of incidents on the line of contact and the border," he said.
Kasprzyk also said he pays a lot of attention to protection of civilian population in areas close to the front lines, visiting the villages and getting acquainted with their situation.
"I also try to support activities of the commissions on prisoners of war and missing persons as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross on the releases of detainees and repatriation of bodies," Kasprzyk stressed.
"Generally, I try to develop and implement confidence-building measures that can alleviate the situation and are conducive to progress in the peace negotiations that are conducted by the co-chairs."
Kasprzyk also highly appreciated his meeting with Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov, which took place last month.
"Personally, I value very much the opportunity to exchange views with the defense minister. In line with my mandate, the discussion concentrated on the situation regarding ceasefire, monitoring and some humanitarian aspects, such as detainees and return of bodies," he noted.
The OSCE representative said he and the minister had a good exchange of views with regards to the situation.
"The resolution of the conflict is under the co-chairs' mandate," Kasprzyk stressed.