Escalation of hostilities in April was a reminder that re-doubled and sustained efforts are needed to break the deadlock in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a statement posted on the OSCE website May 17.
“The situation along the line of contact continues to be tense,” Steinmeier said. “I deeply regret the reported recent loss of life, and I urge the sides to respect the ceasefire in full.”
Steinmeier’s remarks come following the recent developments on the line of contact between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops. An Azerbaijani soldier was killed May 17 as a result of the violation of the ceasefire by Armenia despite the talks on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
On May 16, a meeting was held in Vienna, with participation of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, French Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir, OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, and special representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office Andrzej Kasprzyk.
In this context, Steinmeier welcomed the initiative by his colleagues from Russia, the US and France, the co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, who held the meeting.
“I am encouraged by the renewed commitment that both presidents have expressed to the ceasefire and to the peaceful settlement of the conflict, as well as their readiness to have a new round of talks in June,” he said.
“Germany’s 2016 OSCE Chairmanship remains fully committed to supporting the work of the co-chairs. We will actively support efforts to establish an investigative mechanism,” he added. “We will also work on expanding the team of my Personal Representative, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk.”
“The escalation of hostilities in April was a reminder to us all that re-doubled, sustained efforts are now needed to break the deadlock. The consolidation of the ceasefire is a matter of high priority, not least with a view to creating favorable conditions for resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement,” said Steinmeier.