United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his opposition to the renewed fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus, urging the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides to respect a ceasefire agreement.
In a statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he shares the deep concerns expressed by the Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, the group driving efforts to find a peaceful solution to conflict, and other international partners.
Mr. Ban “urges all parties to respect the ceasefire agreement, refrain from further violence and commit themselves to immediate de-escalation and continuing dialogue in the pursuit of a rapid and peaceful political solution,” according to the statement.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which was an autonomous region during Soviet times, has been at the centre of a dispute between the neighbouring countries since they became independent in the early 1990s.
The recent upsurge in tension and violence along the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is being described by media reports as the worst flare-up in many years.
Aiming to resolve what he described as a “dangerous situation,” Mr. Ban expressed his full support for the efforts by the OSCE and other parties working to resolve the conflict.