OSCE Minsk Group: No military solution to Karabakh conflict

The Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has called for a comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as it met in Vienna on April 5.

In a statement issued from the Austrian capital, the representatives of the Group countries (the Russian Federation, the United States of America, France, Belarus, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Turkey), as well as the incoming Austrian OSCE Chair (2017) and the Serbian OSCE Chair (2015), strongly condemned the outbreak of “unprecedented violence” along the Line of Contact in Nagorno-Karabakh, extending condolences to all affected families.

“We urge the sides to cease using force immediately. There is no military solution to the conflict,” the OSCE Minsk Group emphasized, according to the OSCE’s official website.

“The deterioration of the situation on the ground demonstrates the need for an immediate negotiation, under the auspices of the Co-chairs, on a comprehensive settlement.

“The representatives of the Minsk Group member states affirm their support for the Russian, American, and French Co-Chairs’ mediation efforts and welcome their plans to undertake direct consultations with the sides as soon as possible.”

After more than three days of fierce fighting Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan agreed earlier today on a bilateral ceasefire along the line of contact, which came into force at noon.

Armenian-Azerbaijani clashes erupted in Nagorno-Karabakh early on April 2, causing military and civilian casualties on both sides.

The world’s leading powers and international bodies condemned the violence, calling for an end to bloodshed in the conflict zone.

The three co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group are due to visit Yerevan on April 9, according to an Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson.