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Int'l organizations voice concern over incidents on Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line

5 August 2014 13:30 (UTC+04:00)
Int'l organizations voice concern over incidents on Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line

By Sara Rajabova

The recent skirmishes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line have sparked concerns among international organizations, as well as the world powers.

They have called on the parties of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to refrain from further violence on the frontline.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to abide by the ceasefire agreement between two sides and refrain from further violence, the statement of UN spokesperson said.

"Ban Ki-moon urged all parties to respect the ceasefire agreement, refrain from further violence, commit themselves to immediate de-escalation and continue their talks on a rapid and peaceful political solution," the statement said.

He also expressed his full support for the efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group to put an end to the escalation of tensions in the conflict zone in recent days.

The reconnaissance and sabotage groups of Armenia attacked the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces during the recent days.

Over the last several days, Azerbaijani positions have come under attack constantly. At least 13 servicemen have been killed and several others wounded. Despite what is said by Armenian sources, they suffered more losses.

Meanwhile, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk voiced concern on August 4 over the incidents on the frontline.

He said the recent incidents have sparked concerns, noting that every incident is a tragedy for the families and involved people.

Kasprzyk said he would closely cooperate with involved sides at the highest level to help them de-escalate the situation. He also added that his team would continue monitoring operations on the contact line.

The last monitoring operation of the OSCE was carried out on August 1, which revealed no incident on the contact line.

Kasprzyk further stressed that they regularly receive information on violations of the ceasefire and the general situation during each monitoring on the contact line of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, but they are watching the situation only in one certain place.

Also, some countries which play an important role in international relations have voiced concern over the clashes on the contact line and Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

The United States has called on conflicting sides to take immediate actions to reduce tensions and respect the ceasefire.

U.S State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a briefing on August 4 that retaliatory attacks and further violence would only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement.

She voiced U.S.'s commitment as a co-chair of the Minsk Group, to helping all sides reach a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Psaki also extended condolences to the families of the killed or injured soldiers during the incidents.

Also, Russia expressed concern over the recent developments on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia along with other countries along with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries urges the parties to show maximum restraint and to avoid any actions that could lead to further violence.

He said the OSCE Minsk Group is stepping up efforts to help the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict sides to sign a document including the political principles of the conflict settlement.

Lavrov further said separate meetings are planned to be held with the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Sochi at the end of this week. "If they sit for talks, the Nagorno-Karabakh will be discussed. But the format of this meeting depends on us," he noted.

Earlier, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will meet in Sochi on August 8 or 9 to hold negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

Lavrov stressed that the adopting a political statement "reflecting the guiding principles for the conflict settlement would undoubtedly promote the normalization of the atmosphere."

The Foreign Office of Great Britain also expressed concern at recent violence around Nagorno-Karabakh and urged all parties to reduce tensions.

The UK appealed to both Armenia and Azerbaijan to take immediate actions to reduce tensions and respect the 1994 ceasefire agreement. It also urged the parties to work with the OSCE's Minsk Group co-chairs to reach a peace agreement.

French Foreign Ministry also issued a statement voicing concern about the frequent violence on the frontline in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border, which has left many victims dead recently

It said the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved through peaceful negotiations and called on the parties to respect the ceasefire and take immediate actions to reduce tensions and prevent further incidents.

On August 5, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt voiced concern about the recent incident on the frontline.

He wrote on his Twitter page that the escalating tensions and growing death toll are contributing to further violence in the region.

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