Ban Ki-moon calls for de-escalation in Karabakh
YEREVAN, August 5. /ARKA/. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged sides to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to respect the ceasefire agreement and refrain from violence, the UN official representative said in his statement on Monday.
“He (Ban Ki-moon ) 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 says as cites by Novosti-Armenia referring to RIA Novosti.
The Secretary-General expressed his full support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and all parties working to resolve this dangerous situation and pursue a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to the statement.
Over the last days Azerbaijan has largely intensified its military efforts along the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). Over 25 Azerbaijani and five Karabakh servicemen were killed in the latest raid operations and attempts by Azerbaijani troops to attack Karabakh’s positions.
The Karabakh conflict started in 1988 when prevailingly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh declared withdrawal from Azerbaijan. On December 10, 1991, a referendum was held in Nagorno-Karabakh where 99.89% voted for independence from Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan responded by large-scale military operations that led to loss of control not only over Nagorno-Karabakh itself, but also over seven adjoining areas. About 25-30 thousands people were killed and about a million had to leave their homes during the military operations.
A trilateral cease-fire agreement was signed on May 12, 2004, and has been followed since then.
The ongoing Karabakh peace process started in 1992 under auspices of OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France. -0-