The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs – Ambassador Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Ambassador Stephane Visconti of France, and Ambassador Richard Hoagland of the United States – have received information of renewed violence late in the evening on July 4 at Alkhanli village of Azerbaijan’s Fizuli region that resulted in casualties, including civilians, said the statement posted on OSCE’s website.
“The Minsk Group co-chairs urgently call upon the sides to cease military action. Violence only begets further violence and accomplishes nothing. The only responsible and humane way to resolve this long-standing conflict is for the sides to return to the negotiation table in good faith,” said the statement.
The co-chairs extend their condolences to the families of the victims.
On July 4 at about 20:40 (GMT+4 hours), the Armenian armed forces again violated ceasefire and, using 82-mm and 120-mm mortars and grenade launchers, shelled Azerbaijani positions and territories where the civilian population lives, namely the Alkhanli village of the country’s Fuzuli district, thereby grossly violating the requirements of international law, the message said.
As a result of this provocation, the residents of the village Sakhiba Guliyeva (born in 1967) and Zakhra Guliyeva (born in 2015) were killed. Servinaz Guliyeva (born in 1965), who got wounded, was taken to the hospital and was operated on.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.