Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 15
The recent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started with the Armenian provocation, said former Israeli foreign minister and leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) party, Avigdor Lieberman, in an interview with the newsru.co.il news website.
Lieberman went on to add Azerbaijan had no need to escalate the conflict.
"The Azerbaijani side acted in a quite balanced and responsible manner at the talks that involved representatives of Russia and the US," he added. "There are no reasons for escalating the conflict."
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 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. 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 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.