By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers met in New York on 23 September for another peace talks to resolves the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the two countries. The talks were held with the participation of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
However, the peace talks were overshadowed by the killing of an Azerbaijani solider just a day before the meeting. On 22 September, a solider of Azerbaijan’s frontline military unit, Ramin Abdulrahmanov, lost his way and was shot dead by Armenians on the line of contact between the troops, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reported on the same day.
The soldier’s body was relocated from the line of contact on 24 September with the help of the Azerbaijani representative office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) upon Azerbaijan’s appeal.
The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry described as a lie information circulated in the Armenian media about the alleged provocation by the Azerbaijani side on the frontline.
In yet another provocation ahead of the ministers’ meeting, Armenian forces shelled an excavation laying the supply routes in the combat positions of the Gazakh border division of the Azerbaijani State Border Service on 20 September.
This is not the first time that Armenia sought to disrupt peace negotiations between the two countries’ officials.
Earlier, Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan made a provocative statement on March 29 just when Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Vienna for peace talks. Tonoyan threatened to take additional Azerbaijani territory in case a war breaks out.
Armenia and Azerbaijan are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, which along with seven other regions were occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. Around one million Azerbaijanis were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities that were started by the Armenian forces due to territorial claims against Baku.
A temporary cease-fire agreement was signed between the countries in 1994, however a final peace deal has not been reached yet. Peace negotiations mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have yielded no results to this date.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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