OSCE: Full use of existing negotiation format needed to resolve Karabakh conflict
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 28
By Anakhanum Idayatova - Trend:
There is a need to make full use of the existing negotiation format, recommit to peaceful settlement and step up forward in the process of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.
He made the remarks during the Annual Security Review Conference in Vienna June 28.
The situation around Nagorno-Karabakh, the serious updating of violence around the line of contact is of great concern, said Zannier.
“Stronger OSCE presence on the ground could play a stabilizing role,” added the OSCE secretary general.
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 with the consent of the sides. 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 the Azerbaijani territory, 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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