UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has added his voice to international calls for Azerbaijani and Armenian forces to adhere to their ceasefire agreement after days of deadly skirmishes in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The Secretary-General shares the deep concern expressed by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and other international partners regarding the upsurge in tension and violence along the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,” read a statement issued by a spokesman for Ban late on Monday.
“He urges all parties to respect the ceasefire agreement, refrain from further violence and commit themselves to immediate de-escalation and continuing dialogue in the pursuit of a rapid and peaceful political solution,” the statement said.
Ban also voiced “full support” for the OSCE Minsk Group’s efforts to “resolve this dangerous situation” and broker a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict.
The United States, Russia and France -- the three nations co-heading the group -- have also issued separate statements to express serious concern at the heightened tensions in the conflict zone.
“There can be no military solution to this conflict,” Jen Psaki, the spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said on Monday. “Retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement. We remain committed, as a co-chair of the Minsk Group, to helping all sides reach a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
Psaki commented cautiously on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to hold emergency talks with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts this week. “We’ve traditionally been supportive of meetings to have a dialogue about these issues,” she said.