OSCE Renews Call for Azeri-Armenian Peace Amid Fighting
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reiterated its call for Azerbaijan and Armenia to stop using force and withdraw snipers from the cease- fire line as the Azeri Ministry of Defense said two of its soldiers were wounded in fresh clashes overnight.
“All parties should refrain from the use or threat of force,” OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier told reporters today in the Azeri capital, Baku. “They should abstain from retaliatory measures, remove snipers and implement the agreed confidence-building measures, including the mechanism for investigating incidents on the front lines.”
The Azeri Defense Ministry said in an e-mailed statement that two soldiers were wounded in the western district of Agstafa bordering Armenia. At least 10 people from both sides were killed last month.
Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, speaking at the same press conference, said that Armenia must withdraw from Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory before the sides agree on a mechanism to probe incidents along the cease- fire line.
“At the heart of the problem is the occupation,” Mammadyarov said. “If Armenia pulls its troops out, there will be no need for a mechanism to investigate incidents.”
Armenians seized Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts from Azerbaijan in a war that killed 30,000 people and displaced more than a million before a cease-fire agreement was brokered by Russia in 1994. The sides have yet sign a peace accord.
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