YEREVAN/BAKU, April 2. /TASS/. Parties to the Karabakh conflict have accused each other of violating the truce along the line of engagement. The claims came on Saturday from defense authorities of Armenia and of Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said along the line of engagement in Nagorno Karabakh fierce clashes continue between Azerbaijan’s military and forces of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. At night to Saturday "in the southern, south-eastern and north-eastern directions of the line of engagement (between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh - TASS) the enemy organized an attack with use of artillery, armored vehicles and aviation," the authority said in a statement. "Along the entire line of engagement" between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh "continue fierce clashes," the defense ministry said.
The Armenian ministry said also it hoped for a feedback from co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (on Nagorno Karabakh, representing Russia, France and the U.S. - TASS) "to keep the situation under control and to avoid large-scale military actions."
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, in its turn, reports intensive artillery fire by the Armenian military on settlements along the engagement line in the conflict area. The ministry’s press service said at night to April 2 "all positions of the Azerbaijani armed forces along the line of engagement were under intensive fire from the Armenian side from high-caliber weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and artillery systems." "Under shelling were also several settelemts near the line of engagement, where civilians live," the defense ministry said. "Commanders of Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces, having analyzed the situation, immediately made the decision regarding measures of response."
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.