OSCE Troika discuss Karabakh conflict

OSCE Troika discuss Karabakh conflict

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 13

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The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomed Serbia's and Austria's Foreign Ministers Ivica Dačić and Sebastian Kurz as well as the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier for an OSCE Troika meeting in Berlin today.

According to the joint statement of the OSCE Troika, the members of the OSCE Troika discussed recent developments in the OSCE region, including the situation in Ukraine and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

In reaction to the recent escalation in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the members of the OSCE Troika urged the sides to end all violence, to strictly adhere to the ceasefire, and underlined that there can be no military solution to the conflict. They agreed that de-escalation and stepping up the political process are paramount. They welcomed the joint statement issued by the Minsk Group on April 5 and underlined their continuous support for the efforts of the Group and its Co-Chairs. They will continue to follow developments on the ground closely and to promote the political process.

On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.

Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.

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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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