TODAY.AZ / Politics

OSCE Minsk Group urges de-escalation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border

16 November 2021 [11:37] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Vafa Ismayilova

The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have urged the de-escalation of tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border.

In a statement issued on November 15, U.S. co-chair Andrew Schofer, Russian co-chair Igor Khovaev, and French co-chair Brice Roquefeuil said: "The Co-Chairs view with deep concern recent incidents in the region, including those along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The Co-Chairs call on the sides to take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation immediately."

The co-chairs also urged the sides to refrain from provocative actions, and implement in full the commitments they undertook under the November 9 statement and other jointly agreed ceasefire arrangements.

The mediators also called Armenia and Azerbaijan for building "on the progress made during the joint meetings of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan held under the auspices of the co-chairs in New York and Paris, by continuing to engage in direct dialogue aimed at contributing to security, stability, and prosperity in the region". 

The escalation of tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been observed since November 13, 2021, when several Azerbaijani servicemen were wounded in the attack committed by members of illegal Armenian armed formations near Shusha city on the Azerbaijani territory currently under Russian peacekeepers' temporary control.

The Azerbaijani army positions in liberated Kalbajar and Lachin regions have been under Armenian fire since the evening of November 13.

It should be noted that on November 15, Armenian President Armen Sargsyan dismissed Arshak Karapetyan from the post of defence minister and appointed Suren Papikyan as the new minister at the suggestion of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

This is the fourth defence minister in Armenia since Pashinyan came to force in Armenia. Three of them were appointed after Armenia signed an act of surrender on November 10, 2020, following the 44-day war with Azerbaijan. 

Earlier, the Azerbaijani foreign and defence ministries slammed former Armenian Defence Minister Arshak Karapetyan's illegal visit to Azerbaijan's Karabakh region as a provocative act aimed at aggravating the situation and causing military confrontation.

It should be noted that Baku repeatedly made all the necessary proposals to Yerevan with regard to normalizing the post-war regional situation. Namely - to sign a peace treaty, to recognize each other's territorial integrity and to begin the delimitation and demarcation of borders. 

About 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have been deployed for five years in Karabakh under the trilateral cease-fire deal signed by Baku, Moscow and Yerevan on 10 November 2020. The signed agreement brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia.

The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions and urged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.

Armenia still fails to withdraw all its troops from Azerbaijan under the ceasefire deal. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city.


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