YEREVAN, October 2. /TASS/. Yerevan is ready to start talks on a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh through the OSCE Minsk Group countries mediation, the national Foreign Ministry said Friday, commenting on the statements of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs (Russia, the United States and France).
"We welcome the fact that heads of the OSCE Minsk group co-chair countries sternly condemned the use of force in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. Armenia is committed to resolution of the conflict through peaceful means. We will continue to adamantly repel Azerbaijan’s aggression but, at the same time, are also ready to work with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in the direction of a ceasefire based on the agreements of 1994-1995," the statement reads.
The Armenian ministry also blasted actions of Azerbaijan and Turkey in the conflict zone as undermining regional security. "The joint aggressive actions of Azerbaijan and Turkey as well as involvement of foreign terrorist militants undermine the regional security and peace, significantly increasing risks of a large-scale war," the diplomatic agency noted.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Both parties reported casualties, including civilian casualties. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Baku reports that it took a few Nagorno-Karabakh villages and strategic heights under its control. Yerevan denies these reports and says that territories outside of the disputed region are shelled.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.