OSCE urges Karabakh conflict sides to honour ceasefire (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 12:59)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Emin Aliyev - Trend:
The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter expressed deep concern over downing of an Armenian military helicopter by the Azerbaijani armed forces on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, according to a message form the OSCE.
On Nov. 12, at 13:45 (UTC/GMT +4 hours) an Armenian Mi-24 helicopter flying 1700 meters northeast of the Kengerli village of Azerbaijan's Aghdam district attacked the Azerbaijani army positions.
The helicopter was shot down by the Azerbaijani side. The wreckage of the downed helicopter fell on an area, located 500 meters away from the frontline.
The OSCE message issued Nov. 13 said Burkhalter appealed to the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to do their utmost to prevent such incidents and to honour the ceasefire regime.
He called it particularly regrettable that several spikes of violence had resulted in an unprecedented number of casualties this year.
"Strict adherence to the ceasefire regime and full respect of previously made commitments are indispensable to reach the level of confidence necessary to agree on a conflict settlement," Burkhalter said.
Referring to yesterday's statement made by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Burkhalter expressed his appreciation for intensification of high-level contacts and encouraged the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to continue their dialogue.
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.
Edited by SI