YEREVAN, January 21. /ARKA/. The US Co-Chair of OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick said violence and tense undermine the Karabakh peace process, in commenting yesterday’s incident on the line of contact of Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forces.
Azerbaijani armed force subversive groups made attempts to penetrate into Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) overnight into Monday morning, but were thrown back and suffered losses. Lance sergeant of Karabakh Army of Defense Armen Hovhannisyan was killed in the skirmish.
“Violence and tensions along the line of contact undermine efforts to bring about a negotiated settlement. Regret today's death,” Warlick wrote on Twitter.
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-