Belarus urges Armenia, Azerbaijan not to escalate Nagorno-Karabakh conflict


Belarus urges Armenia, Azerbaijan not to escalate Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko urged the parties to the Karabakh conflict to begin a dialogue. This topic was discussed during a telephone conversation with President of Belarus leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, reports the press service of the President of Belarus.

In the evening, on April 2, Alexander Lukashenko and Serzh Sargsyan in a telephone conversation discussed in detail the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Earlier in the day, Alexander Lukashenko and Ilham Aliyev held a telephone conversation. The President of Belarus expressed concern on the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone.

The Belarusian President also urged the parties to begin a dialogue and expressed regret that both citilians and military are dying as a result of the escalation of violence.

On behalf of the President of Belarus, the situation in the conflict zone was discussed at the ministerial level in Belarus. The Defense Minister of Belarus Andrei Ravkov also held the relevant negotiations with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts.

Similar work is being done through diplomatic channels. Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei has held consultations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov. At present, the Belarusian side is working on the possibility to hold talks with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.

As was reported, the situation aggravated last night. The parties accused each other of shelling across the front line.

There has been no similar escalation in the region since 1994.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said that a large number of troops and military equipment has been destroyed in the zone of conflict. It also says it now controls a number of strategic heights and settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Prime Minister of Armenia, in turn, said that the Armenian forces have thrown back the enemy and, having inflicted significant losses, they are now in full control of the situation. It is reported that there are victims and the wounded among the civilian population.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed region, with both Armenia and Azerbaijan having claimed the territory since the early 90s. Then the active hostilities have led to numerous victims and destruction. About one million people became refugees.

Today, the only constant negotiating format between Armenia and Azerbaijan over their conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh is the OSCE Minsk Group. The platform for the settlement of the conflict was proposed by Belarus back in 1992. 

The entire world community is monitoring the development of the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone. 

Today, the UN Secretary General called on the parties to halt hostilities immediately. Ban Ki-moon said he fully supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group as the only platform to address this conflict, as well as efforts of all parties involved in the work to resolve the situation.

And just hours ago, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) also issued a statement calling for a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.