OSCE Chairperson-in-Office discusses border situation with Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs

The Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Swedish Foreign Minister, Ann Linde, spoke to the foreign ministers of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, and Azerbaijan, Jeyhun Bayramov, about the current situation on the border with Azerbaijan. 

Linde tweeted that she had spoken with Mirzoyan, welcoming the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan after Russian mediation and calling for de-escalation. She voiced her deep regret for the loss of life, and re-iterated her support for the continued resolution of the process through the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. 

According to a statement by the Armenian ministry of foreign affairs, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian minister of foreign affairs, and the Assistant Secretary Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried, also joined the meeting between Mirzoyan and Linde. Mirzoyan reportedly noted that the military operations which occurred on 16 November “were preceded by aggressive rhetoric and threats of use of force against the territorial integrity of Armenia by the high leadership of Azerbaijan, as well as by the infiltration of the Azerbaijani armed forces into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia since May 12, 2021, in the direction of Syunik and Gegharkunik regions”. He reportedly added that Azerbaijani authorities had launched another aggression in response to Armenia's efforts to de-escalate the situation and establish stability in the region.

Mirzoyan stressed that it is crucial to target the response to restrain “the blatant encroachments and provocative actions of Azerbaijan on the sovereign territories of the Republic of Armenia”. The sides also exchanged views on humanitarian issues that need to be urgently addressed.

In a similar tweet, Linde said she discussed the recent developments in the region with Bayramov, again calling for de-escalation and supporting the resumption of the process through the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. A statement by the Azerbaijani MFA said that Bayramov noted that the tension was a result of provocative steps taken by Armenia. The statement adds that “the Armenian military-political leadership is directly responsible for the escalation of the situation in the region and obstruction of the implementation of the trilateral statement”. Additionally, Baymarov noted that Armenia was not responding to Azerbaijan's appeal to start the delimitation process on the basis of the principles of international law.

While the situation has stabilised since the start of the week, the Ministries of Defence of Armenia and Azerbaijan have continued to accuse each other of provocation. In statements from their respective defence ministries on Thursday (18 November), the two sides accused each other of further cease fire violations.

source: commonspace.eu and agencies
photo: Ann Linde; Official twitter account of Ann Linde