Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 March / corr Trend A.Gasimova / During the OSCE Minsk Conference on the morning of 4 March, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva, expressed serious concern today over the military activity taking place in the contact line with regards to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, in particular over reports of casualties and fatalities.
I call on the parties to exercise maximum restraint and observe the terms of the ceasefire," the Minister said. "At this critical juncture in the negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, any action leading to a destabilization in the Line of Contact can only have a negative impact on the overall situation. I urge the parties to avoid action that could lead to further unnecessary loss of life," the OSCE chairman-in-office stated
From the early hours of 4 March, the Armenian armed forces violated, in several directions, the peace agreement on the frontline of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that during the gunfire with Armenia, 12 Armenian soldiers were killed and 15 injured and four Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and one sustained injuries. The situation on the frontline is relatively calm at the moment.
The Chairman-in-Office, recalling his trip last week to the region, added that during his talks with the leaders of both Armenia and Azerbaijan, he had underlined the importance of maintaining stability in the region and of efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry of Russia, as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, also called on Armenia and Azerbaijan not to allow the escalation of resistance in Nagorno-Karabakh. 'It is important not to allow this to develop into a mass armed action and spread to other sections of the contact line," the Ministry said.
To solve the conflict it is necessary to mobilize all opportunities stipulated in the Agreement on the consolidation of a ceasefire regime dated 4 February 1995, the official statement said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.