Deteriorating situation and clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh "are deeply painful and greatly concerning for all countries" in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), chairman of CIS Executive Committee Sergey Lebedev told reporters on Monday.
"We all in CIS, as friends and partners of Azerbaijan and Armenia, sincerely hope that both sides will demonstrate will and reason, stop bloodshed and find a possibility of soonest resumption of peaceful dialogue in the interests of the peoples of both countries," Lebedev said.
He noted that "the presidents and foreign ministers of several CIS member countries have already addressed their Azerbaijani and Armenian partners urging them to take immediate steps to stop military actions and resume search for ways of peaceful resolution of the conflict."
"Young Azerbaijanis and Armenians are dying, thousands of people are suffering, enormous damage is being inflicted on both sides, the atmosphere of hostility and hatred is intensifying - all this considerably undermines the basis for returning to peace," the press service of CIS Executive Committee quoted Lebedev as saying.
On Saturday, April 2, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh rapidly deteriorated when the parties to the Karabakh conflict accused each other of violating truce along the front line. The claims came from defense authorities of Armenia and of Azerbaijan.
Neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan fell out with each other in the late 1980s because of Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians.
In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.
Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh have been held on the basis of the so-called Madrid Principles suggested by co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Russia, France and the United States in December 2007 in the Spanish capital. They include three key principles written in the Helsinki Final Act: refraining from the threat or use of force, territorial integrity and the right to self-determination.
First published by TASS.
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