U.S. co-chair fails to name perpetrators in flared border tensions

U.S. co-chair fails to name perpetrators in flared border tensions

PanARMENIAN.Net - OSCE Minsk Group's U.S. Co-chair, James Warlick hopes that it is possible to hold one more summit in the near future to build on Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents' constructive dialogue in Vienna last November, Trend reported.

"We hope that the Presidents will accept French President Hollande's offer to meet soon in Paris," Warlick told Trend on June 24.

He went on to add that the Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's call for "structured negotiations" is also an opportunity for the sides to advance the peace process.

Touching upon the frequent ceasefire violations on the line of contact of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Warlick said the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs continue to call on the sides to reduce actions and rhetoric that could raise tensions or damage the peace process.

"There is no military solution to this conflict, and these kinds of provocations only slow progress toward our mutual goal - a peaceful, enduring settlement that will deliver the security and prosperity that the people of this region deserve," James Warlick stressed.

Asked about the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs' next visit to the region, Warlick said that he looks forward to continuing the talks as soon as possible.

"I look forward to continuing our talks as soon as possible, whether in the region or elsewhere, although we're still working to schedule our next engagement," he said.

In recent months, Azerbaijan has been continuously violating the ceasefire, shelling Armenian and Artsakh frontline, as well as border villages of Armenia. However, OSCE Misnk Group still refrains from naming true perpetrator of escalations continuing to urge all conflicting parties to observe ceasefire.

Armenian soldiers Andranik Yeghoyan, 26 and Boris Gasparyan, 22 received deadly injures in the June 5 Azeri shelling on the border with Armenia.

An Armenian soldier was killed in Azeri sabotage attempt in the southern direction of the line of contact on the night of May 28.

On spotting the rival, the NKR army units acted to repel the attack, with 2 dead and 1 injured on Azeri side. The NKR defense army serviceman, corporal Erik Gasparyan, 19, died in action.

On May 23, Azeri forces have been shelling the village of Barekamavan and Armenian defense positions for around 6 hours. Azerbaijanis opened fire at a military vehicle heading to an outpost as well as a ZIL civil vehicle.

Some bullets damaged the roof of the house that belongs to Hovik Gharakeshishyan, former head of the village.

Azeri sabotage attempt was thwarted on the night of May 22 at the line of contact between the Krabakh defense army and Azeri armed forces.

The defense army acted to rebuff the attack, reportedly leaving 3 Azeri soldiers injured. Armenian soldier Arthur Ohanjanyan, aged 20, received a deadly injury in Azeri frontline shooting in the southern direction of the Line of Contact of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan’s troops on May 20.

On the morning of April 19, Azeri troops shelled settlements in Armenia’s Tavush province. Some of the villagers working in the vineyards managed to escape, yet others stayed put. The head of the village of Aygepar Andranik Aydinyan expressed concern over the fates of the latters, with mobile connection cut and no information available.

The village of Choratan was also fired on; the shelling started at 9 am and lasted for almost half an hour. As the head of the village Varuzhan Baghramyan said, “Azeri troops targeted peaceful villagers working in the gardens. Fortunately, no one was injured. Azeri shelling became a pretty common occurrence here.”

Border villages of Aygepar, Movses, Nerkin Karmiraghbryur in Armenia’s Tavush province were intensively shelled in a lengthy Azeri attack on the night of April 15.

On March 24, Garnik Torosyan, 22, was shot dead while on duty at the contact line between Karabakh and Azeri armed forces.

Nagorno Karabakh army soldier Arman Ghukasyan, 20, died from gunshot wounds while on duty on March 19; another serviceman, Varazdat Zakaryan was injured.

In late January, a Nagorno Karabakh army soldier, Karen Galstyan, aged 20, sustained a deadly injury in a sniper attack at the northern direction of the line of contact with the Azerbaijani armed forces.

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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