OSCE Chairperson voices concern over incident in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 22 / Trend E.Ostapenko /
The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakhstan's State Secretary and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, expressed serious concern today over a fatal incident that took place during the night of 18 to 19 June at the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
There is no sensible alternative to the continuation of negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Saudabayev said in his statement. "Effective measures should be taken to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future."
According to reports by the Defence Ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the armed incident that took place during the night of 18 to 19 June on the northern part of the Line of Contact resulted in casualties on both sides
The incident occurred immediately after the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents held in St. Petersburg June 17 at the invitation of Russian President to continue negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Saudabayev stressed: "I lend unconditional support for the efforts undertaken within the Minsk Group framework to channel the negotiations into constructive dialogue. I have entrusted my Personal Representative, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, to work closely with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to seek ways to peacefully resolve the protracted conflict."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.
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