PARIS (Kuna)—France on Wednesday called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to refrain from provocative statements and to work towards establishing a “climate of confidence” to help arrive at a peaceful resolution of their disputes.
The two southern Caucasus nations have a serious territorial dispute over the Nagorno Karabagh territory and border clashes and loss of life among troops have been growing in frequency over the past year.
Armenia claims that five of its soldiers were shot by Azeri snipers early last month and that tensions are increasing on the border.
“France is mobilized in its role as co-president of the Minsk Group, to promote mediation on Nagorno Karabagh,” the French Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Minsk Group also includes Russia and the United States.
Paris calls on “the parties to refrain from statements that go against the establishment of a climate of confidence” and “invites the parties to actively contribute to this,” spokesman Romain Nadal said in a briefing.
President Francois Hollande visited the region six weeks ago and met with local officials and leaders and reassured them of French support to move forward with negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the dispute.
On Wednesday, July 2, in accordance with the arrangement 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 northern direction of the Talish village of the NKR Martakert region. No violations were recorded.