Azerbaijan Attacks Karabakh Positions, Ignores OSCE Mediation

OFFICE OF THE NAGORNO KARABAKH REPUBLIC IN THE USA
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PRESS RELEASE
March 7, 2008

AZERBAIJAN ATTACKS KARABAKH POSITIONS, IGNORES OSCE MEDIATION
NKR Defense Army Restore Status-Quo

Washington, DC – On March 4, 2008 an Azerbaijani military unit
attacked defense positions of Nagorno Karabakh, wounding two
Karabakh officers and seizing two military posts near Levonarkh
located in the northern part of the Line of Contact. After fruitless
attempts to reinstate the status-quo through OSCE mediation, the NKR
Defense Army launched a counter-offensive and restored its defense
positions causing casualties to the adversary.

This blatant violation of the 1994 Ceasefire Agreement by Azerbaijan
follows President Ilham Aliyev’s recent statement that his
country had been buying military hardware, airplanes and ammunition
and was prepared to attack Nagorno Karabakh again.

NKR Government informed the OSCE representative in the region about
the Azeri attack and asked the Personal Representative of the OSCE
Chairman-in-office to urge Baku to stop the offensive and retire to
previous positions. However, Azerbaijan’s refusal to cooperate
left no option for the NKR defense forces other than to respond in
kind, reclaiming the two military posts after a brief but intensive
firefight.

NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for a crisis-monitoring of
the area to fully investigate the incident. However, the mission,
which was planned for today, had to be postponed due to Baku’s
refusal to ensure the security of the OSCE personnel.

NKR military intelligence points to increased concentration of
Azerbaijani military hardware and personnel close to Levonarkh.

“We urge, once again, the Azeri leadership to refrain from
attempts to violate the armistice and also warn that any intrusion
by the Azeri military units will receive an adequate response of the
NKR Defense Army,” said today’s statement of the NKR
Foreign Ministry.

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs issued a statement today
(), in which they called on the
conflicting sides to restore confidence along the Line of Contact
and desist from any further confrontations, escalation of violence
or warmongering rhetoric.

“The Co-Chairs reiterate that there is no military solution to
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The outbreak of hostilities would
destabilize the entire region, with calamitous consequences for all
involved”, the statement said in part.

In the last several years Azerbaijan has used its vast oil revenues
to build up its offensive capabilities aimed against Nagorno
Karabakh, threatening the latter with another war.
Azerbaijan’s destructive behavior jeopardizes OSCE mediation
efforts and also goes against the U.S. goal of fostering peace and
stability in the South Caucasus.

The Nagorno Karabakh Republic remains fully committed to the
peaceful resolution of the conflict with Azerbaijan and also ready
to resume full-fledged negotiations without any preconditions. NKR
welcomes continued mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group,
co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France.

We also call on the United States and the international community to
hold Azerbaijan accountable for the recent violation of the truce
and to help prevent further escalation of tensions in the region.

* * *

The Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States is
based in Washington, DC and works with the U.S. government, academia
and the public representing the official policies and interests of
the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Artsakh.

* * *

This material is distributed by the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh
Republic in the USA on behalf of the Government of the Nagorno
Karabakh Republic. The NKR Office is registered with the U.S.
Government under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Additional
information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington,
D.C.

http://www.osce.org/item/30094.html
www.nkrusa.org

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