Armenia open to peace discussions over Nagorno-Karabakh
Tbilisi/Baku, Oct 2 (efe-epa).- Armenia on Friday said it was committed to negotiating a ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory but only on the basis of the 1994-95 peace deal that left the enclave in the hands of Yerevan-backed separatists.
Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijan erupted on Sunday, prompting fears in the international community of a large-scale conflict in the region, a crossroads between Europe and Asia on the border of Russia, Turkey and Iran.
Armenia’s ministry for foreign affairs said it was willing to discuss peace options with the OSCE’s Minsk Group, which was created in 1992 to find a solution to the deadly conflict that broke out over Nagorno-Karabakh following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The co-chairs of the group, Russia, the United States and France called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in a joint statement Thursday.
“Armenia remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Armenia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“While this aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh will continue to receive our strong and resolute response, we stand ready to engage with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries to re-establish a ceasefire regime based on the 1994-1995 agreements.”
In a separate statement, Yerevan accused Azerbaijan of firing artillery toward targets in the Republic of Armenia and of invading its airspace.
“Notably, hours from the statement of the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries on immediate cessation of hostilities Azerbaijan has opted for further escalation,” statement from the foreign ministry continued.
“The military-political leadership of Azerbaijan and Turkey bears entire responsibility for further escalation of the conflict.”
Azerbaijan has also claimed Armenian forces had targeted civilian infrastructure.