OSCE Minsk Group is concerned about downing of Armenian helicopter
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 12
The Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu of France) expressed their concern about the downing of a helicopter on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, OSCE reported.
On Nov. 12, at 13:45 (UTC/GMT +4 hours) a Mi-24 helicopter flying 1700 meters northeast of the Kengerli village of Aghdam district attacked the positions of the Azerbaijani army. The helicopter was shot down by the Azerbaijani side.
The debris of the downed helicopter fell on an area, located 500 meters away from the frontline.
Co-chairs appealed to the sides to avoid steps that would escalate tension along the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
According to the statement, another round of violence like it was witnessed this summer cannot be allowed.
"Today's events remind us of the urgency to intensify efforts to find a lasting settlement. We remain resolved to assist the sides in any way possible." - the statement says.
The Minsk Group encourages sides to adopt confidence-building measures now that would increase transparency along the Line of Contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.