October 2, 2020 2:21:05 am
India on Thursday expressed concern over “disturbing reports” of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and asked all sides to “cease hostilities immediately, keep restraint and take all possible steps to maintain peace at the border”.
The Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava Thursday said, “We have seen disturbing reports of resumption of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border which took place in the early hours of September 27 resulting in casualties on both sides.”
“India is concerned over this situation which threatens regional peace and security. We reiterate the need for the sides to cease hostilities immediately, keep restraint and take all possible steps to maintain peace at the border. India believes that any lasting resolution of the conflict can only be achieved peacefully through diplomatic negotiations,” the MEA spokesperson said.
“In this regard, we support OSCE Minsk Group’s continued efforts for a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Srivastava said.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have defied calls for a ceasefire after the worst fighting in decades between the two over a disputed territory. At least 100 people have reportedly been killed with hundreds wounded in the latest flare-up.
The US, France and Russia have jointly condemned the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh in the southern Caucasus.
In their statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities”. “We also call on the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately commit themselves to resume negotiations on the substance of the settlement in good faith and without preconditions,” it said.
The three were speaking as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, which was founded in the early 1990s to try to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Russia is part of a military alliance with Armenia and has a military base in the country. However, it also has close ties to the government of Azerbaijan.
However, Turkey — an ally of Azerbaijan — dismissed demands for a ceasefire. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a ceasefire was only possible if Armenia ended its “occupation” of Azerbaijani territory.
Nagorno-Karabakh is officially part of Azerbaijan but governed by separatist ethnic Armenians. Years of negotiations have never resulted in a peace treaty.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war in 1988-94 over the territory. Armenia backs the self-declared republic but has never officially recognised it.
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