Status quo can escalate situation around Karabakh conflict – German FM
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 20
Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has met with the OSCE Minsk Group's co-chairs and the personal representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office Andrzej Kasprzyk in Vienna to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
During the meeting, it was noted that the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and resumption of political negotiations remain indispensable, read a message posted on the German Foreign Ministry's website Apr. 20.
Steinmeier noted that the status quo does not provide any guarantees for the future and could again lead to an escalation of the situation.
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.
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.