OSCE urges Karabakh conflict sides to avoid tension in light of Novruz, Easter
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 18
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk has called on the sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to avoid tension in light of the upcoming Novruz and Easter holidays.
"In light of the upcoming Novruz Bayram and Easter holidays, I call on the sides to strictly adhere to the ceasefire and to avoid any action on the line of contact or on the border that could lead to an increase in tensions," Kasprzyk said in a statement made after a monitoring along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.
"I received information from both sides on recent developments on the border, and listened to their concerns," he added. "Both sides highlighted the proximity of villages to the front lines, and that civilians have suffered greatly from ceasefire violations as a particular concern."
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 the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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