Armenia, Azerbaijan back OSCE efforts on Nagorno-Karabakh
Iran Press TV
Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:56PM
Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared their support for ongoing efforts by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to stem the violence in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The OSCE said in a statement issued on Saturday that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, who met in Bern, Switzerland, supported an ongoing work on "proposals regarding measures to reduce the risk of violence along the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border."
Switzerland, which chairs the OSCE, had said earlier that it would not send a representative to the meeting between the two presidents. The OSCE statement said, however, that the meeting was attended by the ambassadors of Russia, the United States and France, as the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
It said the meeting was an opportunity for the two countries to clarify positions on renewed clashes in the disputed region, adding that both Sargsyan and Aliyev were concerned about recent violence and casualties that they said came as a result of heavy weapons being used on the frontlines.
Armenia and Azerbaijan claim Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani enclave which was taken by ethnic Armenian forces in the early 1990s during a war that lasted from February 1988 to May 1994. The conflict left an estimated 30,000 people dead and one million displaced before the two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 1994. However, a permanent peace accord has been elusive.
Azerbaijan has threatened to take back the region by force if negotiations between the two sides fail to yield results. Armenia says it would not stand by if Nagorno-Karabakh were attacked.
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