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Pashinyan proposes moving Armenian, Azerbaijani forces to initial border positions

Armenian Prime Minister offered observers from Russia or the OSCE Minsk Group states to be deployed in the area
Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Alexander Astafyev/POOL/TASS
Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
© Alexander Astafyev/POOL/TASS

YEREVAN, May 27. /TASS/. Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan came up with a proposal on Thursday for the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops to move to their initial positions on the border and that observers from Russia or the OSCE Minsk Group states be deployed in the area.

The acting prime minister outlined a plan for peacefully settling the border situation in a speech that was broadcast on the politician’s Facebook.

"On behalf of the Armenian public, I offer to the Azerbaijani government to agree that the armed forces of both countries withdraw from the border area by several kilometers very quickly and simultaneously. We propose that the armed forces return to their initial positions and international observers from the Russian Federation or [the countries of] the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs be deployed there instead. This relates to the Sotk-Khoznavar section [in the Gegharkunik Province]," he said.

Following this move, the Armenian-Azerbaijani border should be drawn up under the aegis of the international community, Pashinyan said.

"This is the official proposal to Azerbaijan, Russia, and other countries that are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. If we fail to go along this route, the situation may get out of control," Pashinyan cautioned.

The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the area of the Gegharkunik and Syunik border regions has remained tense since May 12. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported earlier on Thursday that six Armenian servicemen were captured during an attempt by reconnaissance and subversive group to cross into Azeri territory.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry confirmed that the Armenian servicemen had been captured but noted that they had been taken prisoner during the engineering works in the border area of the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia. Pashinyan called the incident an abduction of Armenian servicemen. Yerevan applied to the European Court of Human Rights over the incident.