OSCE Personal Representative affirms tense situation on frontline

By: Sara Rajabova

The Personal Representative of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office voiced concern over the recent ceasefire violations on the frontline.

Andrzej Kasprzyk believes that the situation on the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops is tense.

Kasprzyk told Trend Agency that the information obtained from military authorities and the defense ministries of Azerbaijan and Armenian testifies it.

“The reports reflect a relatively high number of shooting incidents and also more serious violations with casualties, each of which is a tragedy for the families of the victims,” he said.

Kasprzyk said his office continues to monitor the situation along the contact lines and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border with the full support and assistance of relevant authorities.

Following the intense ceasefire violations by the Armenian armed forces on April 14, the OSCE monitored the frontline near the Alibayli village on April 15.

Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said the monitoring, which was held under the mandate of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Personal Representative, revealed no incident.

“As always, my reports related to the ceasefire regime are received by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and the Minsk Group,” Kasprzyk said.

Answering a question regarding the necessity of the OSCE paying more attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict after the recent developments in Ukraine, Kasprzyk said it was important that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution does not fade into background due to the events that happen elsewhere.

“The Minsk Group co-chairs are working continuously to present ideas to the sides to move the settlement process forward. They met twice with the foreign ministers and once with both presidents and ministers in the past month,” he said.

Kasprzyk said all this work is aimed at moving the process forward and de-escalating tensions.

He added that under the mandate of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, he visits the region on a constant basis.

“My team and I continuously travel to all the conflict-affected areas in order to liaise with all the stakeholders and ensure that I provide up-to-date information to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and the co-chairs of the Minsk Group,” Kasprzyk said.

Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.

Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994, but Armenia has continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.

Peace talks mediated by Russia, France, and the US have produced no results so far.