US envoy: Azerbaijan, Armenia need to adhere to ceasefire
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.15
The US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta has had an interview with The Voice of America, during which he spoke about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and shared his ideas on what is needed for the conflict's settlement.
"Right now, the important thing is that both sides scrupulously, strictly adhere to the ceasefire and work with the OSCE Minsk Group, with the co-chairs, to find a way forward to a comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," said the ambassador.
"What the Minsk Group is about, what the co-chairs are doing, is to try to facilitate that," he added.
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.