October 10, 2020 - 23:09 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Minsk Group co-chairs have urged the Nagorno-Karabakh parties to conclude intensive substantive negotiations to reach a settlement on the basis of the agreed upon principles and format.
The mediators – Igor Popov of Russia, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States – welcomed the joint announcement by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on a humanitarian ceasefire and called on the sides to execute their commitments in full.
"The co-chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk, are in intensive discussions with the International Committee of the Red Cross on the modalities and logistics of the return of remains and detainees as soon as possible. We call on the sides to provide all the necessary security and logistical assurances on an urgent basis," the co-chairs said in a statement.
"The co-chairs remain actively engaged with the parties to facilitate their efforts to reach agreement on concrete parameters of the ceasefire and to conclude intensive substantive negotiations to reach a settlement on the basis of the agreed upon principles and format."
Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey, launched a large-scale offensive against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27, shelling Armenian positions and civilian settlements with large caliber weapons and rocket systems. Armenia and Karabakh have introduced martial law and total mobilization. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. International and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages, as well as the iconic Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi. Hours before a humanitarian ceasefire was supposed to begin on October 10, Azerbaijan launched a new offensive and struck settlements both in Karabakh and Armenia. The Armenian Defense Ministry said later in the day that the ceasefire is mainly maintained.