AZERBAIJAN ASSAILS ARMENIAN FORCES IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH
By A. Haroutiunian, translated by A.M.
According to Foreign Minister Oskanian, Azerbaijani Diplomacy has also Taken an Aggressive Stance
On March 3, 2008, in the Martakert Region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Azerbaijani armed forces attempted a serious attack on the Armenian positions. "This incident quite differs from all the previous violations of the armistice, to which we are used to. In sense of weapons and military machinery engaged, this attack differs from the others a great deal," stated on a press conference the same day Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia Vardan Oskanian.
As of yesterday, the skirmish still continued on the frontline, the Azerbaijani side announced the loss of two soldiers. The Minster added, "At a certain moment we lost a position, but regained it and restored the status quo on the frontline. We strongly condemn this action of violence and consider it as a provocation of the Azerbaijani side in connection with the destabilized political situation inside Armenia. Probably Azerbaijan counted upon taking advantage at the moment when all of Armenia is focused on its internal problems. Luckily, Azerbaijan’s plans failed".
The Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as representative of OSCE Chairman in Office Andrzey Kasprszyk were immediately informed about the incident. Yesterday Co-Chair Bryza and Special Representative Kasprszyk left on an official visit to Baku and are returning to Yerevan in a day or two. They negotiate for restoring the armistice regime with the Azerbaijani authorities.
"At first the negotiations were about the point that Azerbaijan consented to cease the fire without giving up the occupied position. This question was naturally settled by the fact that the Armenian forces succeeded to take it back." In such circumstances, according to Vardan Oskanian, the restoration of armistice will be much easier.
Foreign Minister Oskanian also said that the diplomacy of Azerbaijan has also taken an aggressive stance. The Azerbaijani side has proposed a new resolution draft on Karabakh issue, based upon the precedent of Kosovo. The resolution draft is to be voted on March 14. The Foreign Minister assured that the Armenian diplomacy is working to prevent the passing of the resolution and stated that the proposal of it was another Azerbaijani provocation, caused by the unrest in Armenia.
"The Chairing countries are trying to persuade Azerbaijan to call the resolution back. If even those attempts fail, I hope at least that the Chairing countries will not support the resolution," said Mr. Oskanian. He also stated that the Azerbaijani authorities are trying to put the newly elected President of Armenia into a difficult situation with such measures.
Mr. Oskanian informed that in the state of emergency the Foreign Ministry of Armenia shall work in a special regime, so as to ensure providing verified and objective information.
The Foreign Minister reminded that OSCE Chairman in Office representative Heikki Talvitie and EU Special Representative to South Caucasus Peter Semneby are on a visit to Armenia and have met with the President, Prime Minister, Parliament Speaker and opposition political figures.