BRUSSELS, August 3 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union calls on the conflicting parties in Nagorno-Karabakh, the subject of an unresolved dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, to observe the ceasefire, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Sunday.
"We are very concerned by the latest armed incidents which caused a number of casualties along the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani State border in recent days. We call on both sides to immediately respect the ceasefire, refrain from the use of force or any threat thereof, and continue efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The EU is ready to engage in renewed efforts towards a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and contribute to peace-building efforts, in full complementarity with the OSCE Minsk Group.
“We reiterate our full support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and the work of the three Co-Chairs, especially with regard to the need to continue negotiations at the highest level, as was agreed at the meeting between Presidents Sargsyan and Aliyev in Vienna on November 19, 2013,” the statement reads.
Tensions along the contact line of Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan have been running high over the past few days. The ceasefire regime in the region has been violated several times, leading to casualties.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said 14 Azeri servicemen have been killed and several others have been wounded. Defense officials of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic said at least three people on their side have died.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan told journalists that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, could meet in Russia’s Sochi next week to discuss the conflict settlement.
A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the recent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a serious violation of the ceasefire agreements.
Armenia and Azerbaijan are still technically at war after a conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s, left some 30,000 people dead. A ceasefire was agreed on in 1994, but a permanent peace deal has still not been signed.