August 9, 2014 - 13:08 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group expressed concern over recent escalation of hostilities along the Line of Contact between the Karabakh and Azerbajani forces and the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
According to Tert.am, in an interview with Voice of America, James Warlick called for strong efforts towards relaxing the tension, expressing hope that the upcoming Russia-mediated meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents may mark a progress in the peace talks over Nagorno Karabakh.
“Of course, we are very concerned about the situation along the Line of Contact, and as you see, the situation is not frozen at all. Tell a mother of a dead or injured soldier that that this isn’t a frozen conflict. This hasn't been a frozen conflict. And we are very concerned about the escalations.”
“And there are things that should be done about this escalation. The first thing is that - I am very pleased to see - that the presidents may be meeting each other in Sochi today (August 9) or tomorrow, and we hope that they can make progress on key issue, especially putting in it the violence on the Line of Contact,” he said.
The U.S. diplomat further expressed hope that the meeting will help put an end to threats and provocative rhetoric. “They don’t bring us closer to peace,” he said. “They incite violence, and we are going to find a way to a lasting settlement. We need to see an end to the hostile rhetoric and this kind of provocative threats. So one of the outcomes of this very important meeting with President Putin, I hope, will be a commitment from both sides that they will end this hostile rhetoric, respect the ceasefire and work with the Co-Chairs towards a peaceful settlement.”
On the night of August 8, Azerbaijani armed forces continued violating the ceasefire, firing 9000 shots from various caliber weapons at the Armenian positions along the border.
From August 6 to the morning of August 7, 39 ceasefire violations by the Azeri armed forces were reported, with 546 shots fired. The Armenian side replied 8 times, firing 232 shots.
According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, 56 ceasefire violations were registered on August 5-6, with 7175 shots fired in the direction of Armenian positions. The Armenian side replied 28 times, firing 5025 shots.
From July 28 to Aug 3, 2014, the Azeri army made over 5 cross-border attempts in various directions of the contact line.