YEREVAN, January 30. /ARKA/. The US Co-Chair of OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick said the death of the Armenian soldier Karen Galstyan on the contact line between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forces is tragic.
The 20-year-old Karen Galstyan was killed by an Azeri sniper Tuesday.
The recent escalation, with deaths on both sides, damages prospects for peaceful settlement, Warlick wrote on Twitter.
According to last week reports, Azeri forces opened a fire at a number of Armenian villages of Tavush region and wounded a sixteen-year old girl in Aygepar borderline village.
Apart from that, Azerbaijani subversive groups made attempts to penetrate into Nagorno-Karabakh overnight into Monday January 20, but were thrown back and suffered losses. A junior sergeant of Karabakh Army of Defense Armen Hovhannisyan was killed in the clash.
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 thousand 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-