STEPANEKERT—Azerbaijani snipers fired at the Karabakh border Tuesday ahead of a scheduled OSCE monitoring mission at the border, commonly called the Line of Contact. While the monitoring mission was completed on schedule, the Azerbaijani side did not lead the OSCE observers to its front lines.
Based on an agreement reached with the authorities of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the OSCE Mission conducted a planned monitoring of the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan in the Hadrut district near the town of Horadiz.
From the positions of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Army, the monitoring was conducted by Field Assistant of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Yevgeny Sharov (Ukraine) and staff member of the Office Peter Svedberg, as well as by representative of the OSCE High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) Lieutenant-Colonel Dan Harvey (Ireland).
Representatives of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic foreign and defense ministries accompanied the monitors on the Karabakh border.
On the Azerbaijan side the monitoring was conducted by Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk and his Field Assistant Khristo Khristov (Bulgaria), as well as by representative of the OSCE High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) Colonel Ilhami Deghirmenchioghlu (Turkey).
The Azerbaijani attack comes less than a week after two Armenian soldiers, Andranik Yeghoyan, 26, and Boris Gasparyan, 22, were killed by Azerbaijani forces on the border of Nakhichevan.
The Nakhichevan attack happened a day after OSCE Chairman and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter visited the region and brought a clear message to the sides of the conflict, urging cooperation in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“The status quo is not an option in the current situation, and we must try to move step by step to a peaceful settlement,” Burkhalter declared at a joint press conference with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian in Yerevan last week.