OSCE MG co-chair: Necessary to resume Karabakh peace talks
Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 1
By Anakhanum Hidayatova – Trend:
The latest incident on the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops once again underscores the urgent need for the parties to immediately resume negotiations on establishing lasting security and peace in the South Caucasus region, Richard Hoagland, the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told Trend Mar. 1.
“In our Feb. 26 statement, my fellow co-chairs and I reiterated our call for respect for the ceasefire and a commitment to the non-use of force,” he said.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry has earlier said the Armenian army attempted to infiltrate through the Azerbaijani positions along the line of contact on the night from Feb. 24 to Feb. 25. The Armenian side attempted to seize favorable positions on the Khojavand-Fuzuli part of the frontline, said the ministry, adding heavy battles took place between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops.
“Azerbaijani military units courageously prevented the attacks and the Armenian side was forced to retreat,” according to the Defense Ministry.
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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