VIENNA—The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter, together with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Igor Popov (Russia), James Warlick (USA), and Pierre Andrieu (France), expressed their deep concern about the intense upsurge in violence along the Line of Contact and Armenian-Azerbaijani border that resulted in numerous casualties reported in recent days.
The Chairperson-in-Office and the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group said that they were deeply concerned about the fact that a clearly marked International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) vehicle came under Azeri fire while assisting the local population of an Armenian village near the border on a humanitarian mission. They strongly condemned the deliberate targeting of civilians and shooting at representatives of international organizations and reminded the parties of their obligations under the Geneva Conventions.
They appealed to the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to take immediate action to defuse tensions and respect the ceasefire agreement. Retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to continue efforts to bring about a lasting peace, the Chairperson-in-Office and the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group emphasized. They also urged the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resume as soon as possible negotiations on peaceful settlement of the conflict, being the only way to bring peace and genuine reconciliation to the peoples of the region.
ANCA: OSCE Must Challenge Azerbaijani Aggression
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian issued the following statement regarding Azerbaijan’s most recent attacks against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
“The Azerbaijani government’s July 31st and August 1st cross-border attacks against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh are the latest examples of its reckless military aggression in the face of international efforts to stabilize the region and set the groundwork for a fair and enduring peace.”
“The OSCE Minsk Group’s unwillingness to clearly condemn Azerbaijani military strikes has fostered a dangerous atmosphere of impunity that has clearly contributed to this recent escalation of violence. It is time for peace negotiators to break their bad habit of answering Aliyev’s every assault with artificial even-handedness and diplomatic double-talk. Only by unequivocally denouncing Azerbaijan’s attacks can they hope to constrain Aliyev’s march toward a renewed Caucasus war. An important first step would be an OSCE-led international campaign demanding that Baku lift its opposition to the withdrawal of all snipers, a life-saving proposal that Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh have supported for over 3 years.”
On July 31st and August 1st, Azerbaijani attacks on the lines of contact with Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh have resulted in over 10 deaths. U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf issued a statement on August 1st expressing United States “concern about the escalation of violence,” but stopped short of clearly condemning Azerbaijani aggression. The statement went on to call on “the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet at the earliest opportunity to resume dialogue on key issues.”
Harf’s complete statement is available here.
Earlier in the day, OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair, Ambassador James Warlick tweeted, “We are seriously concerned about the recent upsurge in violence along the Line Of Contact. The ceasefire needs to be respected. #NKpeace”