OSCE Monitoring Confirms Shifts in Azeri Positions

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On June 24–the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Acting Chairman conducted a crisis-monitoring of the Mardakert region frontline between the armed forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan–the Public Relations Department of the Karabakh Foreign Ministry reported.

The mission members presented the results of the monitoring to the Karabakh Foreign Minister Naira Melkoumian. The final results of the monitoring will be presented to the OSCE Acting Chairman and the OSCE Permanent Council in a report. In particular–monitoring results confirmed that Azeri positions had shifted closer to Karabakh defensives. The monitors on the Karabakh side registered a 50-60-meter shift of the Azeri positions on June 14. The OSCE representatives stated that the Karabakh Defense Army had made no shifts in their position.

According to the mission members–no evidence of any offensive by the Karabakh armed forces was revealed in contrast to the statemen’s of the Azeri Ministry of Defense.

The crisis-monitoring was conducted on the request the Karabakh Foreign Minister submitted to the OSCE Acting Chairman in connection with the incident that took place on June 14 that an observer mission should be sent to the afore-mentioned section in charge of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Acting Chairman to reveal those responsible for the violation of the cease-fire.

The monitoring was conducted by field assistants to the Representative of the OSCE Acting Chairman–Hoisten Larsen–Alexander Gnedykh and Miroslaw Vymetal as well as the officer of the OSCE High Level Planning Group–Joannis Panagosos. The group of monitors also included representatives of the Karabakh Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry.

Later that day–Melkoumian held a meeting with the OSCE representatives. She expressed gratitude to the OSCE mission for their prompt response to her request and impartial assessment of the actual situation at the frontlines. According to her–"a prompt decision on conducting the monitoring prevented further escalation of the conflict by the Azeri side."

Meanwhile–France expressed concern about the apparent deterioration of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh–the Itar-Tass news agency reported Friday.

French Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Francois Rivasseau said Wednesday that until the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has not been settled by political means–there would be no chance of establishing stability and ensuring prosperity in the region.

He said the sides should continue talks–adding that it was necessary to implement their obligations on ceasefire and the Minsk agreemen’s.

France called on all sides to show restraint and to implement the ceasefire agreement–Rivasseau said.

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