UNITED NATIONS, July 20. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is seriously concerned over growing tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, St·phane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, said on Monday.
"The Secretary General is following with deep concern the current tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia," he said. "He calls for maximum restraint as a full conflict between these two countries would be disastrous."
"Contacts been led by UN office for political affairs are being held at various level and with various parties," he said in reply to a TASS question.
The situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border escalated on July 12, when Azerbaijan said that the Armenian army had tried to attack Azerbaijan’s positions with use of artillery systems. Armenia, in turn, said the situation on the border had aggravated after Azerbaijan’s attempted attack. Baku has reported the death of twelve servicemen. Yerevan said four Armenian soldiers had been killed and ten more were wounded.
On July 17, both sides reported that the situation on the border was relatively calm.
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.