October 13, 2020 - 18:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have urged the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to agree upon a ceasefire verification mechanism on the ground.
Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States released a statement on Tuesday, October 13.
"The co-chairs note with alarm the continuing violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The co-chairs call on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to take immediate steps to execute in full the obligations of the sides according to the October 10 Moscow statement, in order to prevent catastrophic consequences for the region," the statement reports.
"The co-chairs reiterate that civilian casualties are unacceptable under any circumstances. The co-chairs call on the sides to implement the humanitarian ceasefire immediately to allow the return of remains, prisoners of war, and detainees, and appeal to the sides to agree urgently upon a ceasefire verification mechanism.
"Following conversations with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, the Co-Chairs are working with the sides on the substantive issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh political settlement process in order to reach a negotiated solution."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that the development of verification mechanisms in the Karabakh conflict zone should not be delayed.
The Armenian side too has always stressed the need for deploying verification mechanisms which would help determine which party did not honor the ceasefire, while the Azerbaijani side has been opposing the idea.
Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey and mercenaries deployed by Ankara, 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. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. Foreign and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages. Although a humanitarian ceasefire was supposed to begin on October 10, Azerbaijan has renewed hostilities along the line of contact.
Donations can be made to Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, which has launched a fundraising campaign to support Karabakh amid Azerbaijan's aggression.