Moscow, Paris, Washington, 21 June 2010 - The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassador Igor Popov of Russia, Bernard Fassier of France, and Robert Bradtke of the United States, released the following statement today:
According to reports of the Ministries of Defense of Armenia and Azerbaijan, an armed incident took place during the night of June 18-19, 2010, in the northern part of the Line of Contact, resulting in casualties.
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States of America, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life. Such an incident is an unacceptable violation of the 1994 Ceasefire Agreement and is contrary to the stated commitment of the sides to refrain from the use of force or the threat of the use of force.
The incident took place immediately after the meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, held in St. Petersburg on June 17 at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation to pursue the negotiation of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The use of military force, particularly at this moment, can only be seen as an attempt to damage the peace process.
Therefore the Co-Chairs call upon the sides to exercise restraint on the terrain as well as in their public communications and prepare their population for peace and not for war. They reiterate that there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiation solution of the conflict and that war is not an option.
Finally they also call upon the sides to cooperate fully with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman in Office and do nothing that would impede his monitoring activities.