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Armenia Slams Azerbaijan Over Ceasefire Violations


Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalian (file photo)

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of dishonoring its commitments to strengthen ceasefire after border incidents over the weekend in which at least one Armenian soldier was killed and two others were wounded.

Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalian said on Monday that the recent violations show that authorities in Baku have shown disregard for the obligations undertaken during the two countries’ leaders in Vienna, Austria, earlier this year.

“The intentional and provocative violations of the ceasefire by Azerbaijan contradict the commitments to maintain and strengthen the ceasefire that were made at the level of the leaders of the two states at the Vienna Summit on March 29. They disregard the statement adopted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-chairs following their June 20 meeting in Washington with the [Armenian and Azerbaijani] foreign ministers, in which the parties were urged to strictly adhere to their commitment to respect the ceasefire and refrain from provocative actions by using snipers along the line of contact and the state border,” Naghdalian said.

The Foreign Ministry representative stressed that Yerevan condemns “the provocations that lead to human casualties and are accompanied by Azerbaijan’s refusal to implement security and confidence-building measures aimed at maintaining and strengthening the ceasefire.”

In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry Naghdalian stressed that Azerbaijan’s actions “create a risk of increased tensions, for which the entire responsibility lies with the Azerbaijani side.”

After the Saturday incident at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in which an Armenian contract soldier was wounded Armenia’s Defense Ministry also accused Azerbaijan of seeking to escalate the border situation.

“Another provocative action by the Azerbaijani side once again proves that the enemy continues to brazenly violate the ceasefire regime and consistently escalate the situation on the border. It is Azerbaijan that bears full responsibility for the escalation of the situation,” it said.

The following day military authorities in Yerevan reported that an Armenian contract serviceman was shot dead at the northeastern section of the border with Azerbaijan.

Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovannisian on Monday reported about another Armenian soldier wounded at the border with Azerbaijan in the northeastern Tavush province.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are locked in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-populated region that has been de-facto independent from Baku after a three-year war in the early 1990s, in which an estimated 30,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced.

Despite a 1994 ceasefire, loss of life has continued in the conflict zone in recurrent border skirmishes and sporadic fighting.

An internationally mediated peace process spearheaded by the OSCE Minsk Group has so far failed to produce a lasting settlement of the conflict.

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