YEREVAN (Public Radio of Armenia)—Three Armenian civilians were killed as a result of a ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan on Thursday, September 24, 2015.
Azerbaijani forces used artillery weapons and mortars of different caliber as they opened fire in the north-eastern direction of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The shelling left three civilians killed in the Tavush province (Paytsar Arakelyan, 83, Shushan Asatryan, 94, and Sona Revazyan, 41).
“As a rule, the Azerbaijani side resorts to provocative actions on the eve [of] negotiations and meetings targeted at the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict, intentionally escalating tension at the border. This comes to prove that the military-political leadership of the neighboring country ignores initiatives aimed at peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and periodically destabilize the situation at the line of contact,” the Armenian Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
“The current situation is a result of insidious tactics of the Azerbaijani military-political leadership and contradicts the logic of negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group and the principles of international humanitarian law,” the Ministry said.
The Armenian Ministry of Defense urged the Azerbaijani side to refrain from steps aimed at escalation and to take practical measures to stabilize the situation. It also urged residents of villages bordering Azerbaijan to avoid serving as a shield to the Armenian Armed Forces.
“The Armenian Armed Forces will resort to equivalent actions to stabilize the situation and restrain the Azerbaijani troops,” the Ministry said, adding that “the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan will bear full responsibility for the consequences.”
Meanwhile, James Warlick, the U.S. Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, said that the OSCE Co-Chairs were in touch with officials in Armenia and Azerbaijan about “renewed violence,” and urged an end to attacks and reprisals, in a tweet.
Royce and Engel Work to Secure Bipartisan Support for Karabagh Peace-Keeping
This week, the Armenian National Committee of America launched an action alert, asking community members to urge their representatives to sign a letter drafted by Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and join a bipartisan call for renewed U.S. leadership in keeping the peace along the Nagorno-Karabagh line of contact.
The two senior legislators are currently collecting Congressional signatures on a letter addressed to Ambassador James Warlick—the U.S. representative to the OSCE’s Minsk Group tasked with reaching a resolution of Nagorno-Karabagh related security and status issues. In their letter, they specifically call for the U.S. and OSCE to abandon their failed policy of false parity in responding to acts of aggression.