TODAY.AZ / Politics

OSCE MG U.S co-chairman: Karabakh conflict sides must focus on finding peace

28 January 2014 [14:50] - TODAY.AZ
The sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must focus on finding peace, escalation is in no one's interest, U.S co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick wrote in Twitter today.

The situation on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops has recently escalated. Armenian armed forces have recently violated the ceasefire about 1,000 times.

Last week Armenian troops fired on the positions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the Tartar region. A sniper killed a 36-year old officer of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, Captain Elnur Jafarov.

Jafarov was posthumously awarded with a medal "For distinguished service in the military service" of the third degree upon Defense Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov's order.

The Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire again at 12:30 yesterday when a sniper killed Lieutenant Sabuhi Azizov. Lieutenant Azizov was posthumously awarded with the medal "For distinguished military service" of the third degree upon Defense Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov's order.

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group expressed their deep concern over continued violence in the region, and stressed that recent incidents undermine negotiations and diminish the prospects for peace, the OSCE Minsk Group said following a meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian in Paris.

Use of force will not resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said at press briefing on Friday.

"We have seen the reports and regret any loss of life anywhere, but certainly here as well," she said. "And our position remains that the use of force will not resolve this conflict. We call on all parties to refrain from the use or threat of force."

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.


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