OSCE Makes 3rd Try at Monitoring Karabakh Cease-fire

STEPANAKERT (ArmRadio)–The Foreign Ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on Tuesday expressed its readiness to facilitate the OSCE Minsk Group’s third attempt in recent months at monitoring the line of contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.

The monitoring mission has been scheduled for Wednesday near the settlement of Yusufjanly in the Aghdam region.

The Foreign Ministry gave its consent for the OSCE representative to carry out the monitoring after receiving confirmation from Azerbaijan that it would ensure the security of the monitors.

The last two missions to monitor the contact line between the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan fell through due to Azerbaijan’s failure to ensure the security of the monitoring mission.

Azerbaijan failed to provide security guarantees for the OSCE monitoring mission earlier in July. The failed visit to the contact line near the border village of Chinar in Armenia’s Tavoush Marz was scheduled after a series of Azeri ceasefire violations in mid June left two villagers in the area dead.

Azerbaijan had thwarted a previous attempt to monitor the contact line in early March after Azeri forces staged an incursion into the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s Martakerd region on March 3-4.

The March violation was the most serious of its kind in many years. Since a truce was signed in 1994, leaving Armenian forces in control of Nagorno- Karabakh, there have been sporadic shooting incidents but the ceasefire has by and large held. The OSCE, the international mediating group, operates a limited monitoring mission, which visits the front line periodically.

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