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OSCE MG U.S. Co-chair urges to focus on finding peace

OSCE MG U.S. Co-chair urges to focus on finding peace

PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, ambassador James Warlick expressed regret over the deaths at the contact line between the Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forces.

"Regret another death on Line of Contact. Sides must focus on finding peace; escalation is in no one’s interest," Warlick said in his Twitter post.

As a result of the continuous firing from the Azerbaijani side, a 16-year-old girl was wounded in her leg Thursday, Jan 23 night in Aygepar village of Armenia’s Tavush province.

Intensive fire was registered in the direction of Armenian border villages of Nerkin Karmraghbyur, Aygepar, Chinari and Movses, RA Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan confirmed to PanARMENIAN.Net

The injured girl underwent a surgery in the hospital of Berd town and later discharged, according to Ankakh.com.

“The Azeris fired upon houses, roofs. Now the firing has stopped,” one of Aygepar residents told Razm.info.

According to Nerkin Karmraghbyur’s page on Facebook, the firing ceased at about 5 am Friday. No one was injured; roofs of some houses were damaged.

Earlier, village administration head Manvel Kamendatyan said that the electricity was turned off to avoid ignition.

Meanwhile, Azeri media outlets spread reports alleging that a woman was wounded by Armenians. However, no official comments followed.

Karabakh must become a full fledged part of the peace talks and the mediators must at least secure that as a mechanism for Azerbaijan to show restraint in its action, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation political affairs director Giro Manoyan during press briefing Monday, Jan 27, according to Asbarez.

Manoyan said that if the peace talks continue in their current format, not much progress can be anticipated.

He called for the imperative of change in foreign policy, especially taking into consideration the latest violation of the cease-fire by Azerbaijan ahead of the meeting between the Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers.

Manoyan also called into question whether the talks should have proceeded after the Azeris’ two-pronged attack last week, as a result of which junior sergeant Armen Hovhannesyan was killed in the line of duty.

The mediators should have announced, said Manoyan, that “Azerbaijan’s behavior before the scheduled meeting in Paris, prevents us from participating in the talks.”

Manoyan expressed frustration at the Minsk Group co-chairmen for not presenting an honest assessment of the situation and “not hide behind the fake parity.”

“I don’t believe that the Armenian side will ever refuse to go to the talks because it wants to be perceived as ‘good,’ especially by the West. But, it is imperative to show the West that their ‘parity’ makes them an accomplice in Azerbaijan’s policies. Because of this they [the co-chairmen] must secure Karabakh’s participation in the talks,” said Manoyan.

Manoyan warned that the current situation on the border could lead to war, adding that while Azerbaijan may not want to go to war, its provocations could steer the situation in that direction. He also urged a realignment of Armenia’s foreign policy and called for an active pursuit of the international recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic by Armenia’s diplomats.

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

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