NATO urges Azerbaijan, Armenia to respect cease-fire
NATO has urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to respect the cease-fire between the two countries in the aftermath of recent Karabakh clashes.
NATO Secretary-General Jans Stoltenberg said in a statement Tuesday that he was "encouraged by reports of cessation of hostilities along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact.”
The statement added: "I urge the sides to respect the cease-fire, show restraint and prevent any new escalation."
Stoltenberg said NATO supports efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, a monitoring body that aims to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
"The parties need to go back to the negotiating table and find a comprehensive settlement, under the auspices of the co-chairs. There is no military solution to the conflict," the statement said.
"The peaceful resolution of conflicts is one of the core commitments to which all NATO's partner countries commit when joining the Partnership for Peace," it added.
Over the weekend, 12 Azerbaijani troops and more than 100 Armenian soldiers were killed in fighting over Karabakh, which was seized by ethnic Armenian separatists in the early 1990s.
Armenian militia has occupied Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region since 1993, similar to how pro-Russian militia have illegally occupied parts of Ukraine since 2014.
Three UN Security Council resolutions (853, 874 and 884) and United Nations General Assembly resolutions 19/13 and 57/298 refer to Karabakh as being part of Azerbaijan.
The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe also refers to the territory as under occupation of Armenian forces.
Last Modified: 2016-04-06 09:13:10
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