The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (International Fund) expresses its concern about the persistent and repeated violations of the ceasefire, occurring during the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
According to the reports of media and officials, starting from July 27, 2014 on certain segments of the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border and the line of contact lying through the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, there were clashes between the armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as a result there have been large losses on both sides.
The International Fund is particularly concerned with the indiscriminate shelling by the Armenian troops into civilian areas of Azerbaijan, during which several people were killed and many civilians, including children were injured. In this regard, the International Fund, states there are violations of international norms, laws and customs of war in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
Just a few weeks ago, the Armenian armed forces, captured two civilians, killing one, subjected them to torture due to the fact that they went to the occupied territory of Kelbajar region to visit the graves of their parents, ancestors. The International Fund is also worried about the fact that the Azerbaijani prisoners have not been released until now.
In this regard, the International Fund recalls that freedom of movement within the state is a fundamental right of every person. The International Fund, within its project “Path to Reconciliation: economic, social and political consequences of the protracted conflicts in the Black Sea-Caspian region and the prospects for their settlement” also conducts a research of the protracted conflicts on the territory of other former Soviet republics, for instance in the context of the conflicts on the territory of Moldova and Georgia, the citizens of these countries have a certain freedom of movement in the conflict zones. In the case of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, exiled from their land Azerbaijani refuges are even refused the right to visit the graves of their ancestors.
The recent events demonstrate once again that despite the international calls for a cease-fire, Armenia continues to ignore the voice of the international community, to fire Azerbaijani settlements and to fuel hatred against the Azerbaijanis. In these circumstances, Armenia bears full responsibility not only for the illegal occupation, numerous human casualties and continuing deprivation of hundreds of thousands of people illegally evicted from their lands because of the Armenian occupation, but also for the recent escalation of violence and human casualties that might occur in the future.
These events again attest that the continued occupation, violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states represent a threat not only for the regional, but also for the European security. In this context, unconditional and complete withdrawal of the occupying forces from the territories of Azerbaijan and the conflict settlement on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and other instruments of the Council of Europe and the OSCE is the only way out of the situation and a guarantee that could prevent losses of human lives. Achieving this solution is a duty of the relevant international institutions, including the OSCE Minsk Group, its member states, leaders, diplomats directly in charge.
In this context, the International Fund, bringing together political scientists, experts, scholars and intellectuals from 27 countries, guided by such objectives as respect for the norms and principles of international law, conflict settlement through dialogue, negotiation, understanding, harmony and tolerance, peaceful settlement of disputes, calls on Armenia, before the high-level Meeting on the conflict settlement, to consider once again all the consequences of its current policy, to stop immediately the violation of the cease-fire regime and to take a constructive position in the negotiation process. Otherwise, it will inevitably lead to a resumption of hostilities.