By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The ongoing sniper provocation of Armenian soldiers against Azerbaijan reduces the hopes for a peace process in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Yerevan proves with concrete facts that it is not capable of ending the unfinished conflict. The provocations are perceived as a direct challenge of Armenia to Azerbaijan.
Armenian armed forces have once again committed a provocation, grossly violating the ceasefire regime on the front line, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on June 9.
"Elshan Khalilov, a serviceman of the Azerbaijan Army, was deadly shot by an enemy in the direction of the Tartar region of the front on June 9," the Ministry said in a message.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry regarded the recent incident on the frontline as an Armenian crime directed to break the Karabakh peace process.
"Another bloody act committed by Armenia’s war supporters and their patrons on the eve of the upcoming regular meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers through the intermediary of the OSCE Minsk Group serves to undermine the talks to resolve the conflict and increase tension in the region," the Foreign Ministry said.
The Ministry emphasized that full responsibility for the implementation of such a scenario lies with Armenia and this country’s leadership.
In recent days, an escalation has been observed in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. As a result of the Armenian provocation, Azerbaijani Army Major Agil Omarov was killed on May 30.
The Armenian Defense Ministry awarded the soldiers who killed Agil Omarov, according to Spokesman for the Ministry Artsrun Hovannisyan.
By this way the Armenian political leadership showed its support to to a force-based solution to the conflict, confirming the rejection of the peace plan to resolve the conflict.
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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.