OSCE chairman urges observance of ceasefire

The OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, during an official visit to Armenia last Thursday, stressed the importance of strict observance of the ceasefire on the troops` Line of Contact as a prerequisite for reaching a peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the OSCE said.

Zannier said the OSCE fully supported the process facilitated by the mediating Minsk Group`s co-chairs and the efforts of the OSCE chairman`s personal representative in negotiating a peaceful settlement of the conflict and voiced his concern at the developments on the Line of Contact and on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, especially the targeting of civilians living close to the front lines.

``There is a clear need to immediately implement measures that would stabilize the worrying situation and prevent the unacceptable further loss of lives,`` he said after his meeting with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan. ``It is essential for both sides to abstain from retaliatory measures that would lead to further escalation and to remove snipers from the Line of Contact - this is the message I also delivered in Baku.``

Zannier stressed that promoting confidence-building measures, including people-to-people contacts, between the conflict sides, as agreed by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan during their Russian-brokered meeting held in Sochi in January, was a priority for the OSCE.

During his visit, the Secretary General also met President Serzh Sargsyan and the Speaker of the National Assembly Hovik Abrahamyan.

The visit to Yerevan completed Zannier`s trip to the South Caucasus that started in Baku on July 8-9, followed by a visit to Tbilisi from July 9-11.