New Delhi: India on Friday expressed concern over the situation that threatens regional peace and security and urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to maintain restraint for maintenance of peace at the border.
It also said that any lasting resolution of the conflict can only be achieved peacefully through diplomatic negotiations.
India’s response came after Armenia and Azerbaijan forces fought on Tuesday with heavy artillery and drones, leaving more than 15 people killed on both sides, including an Azerbaijani general.
In a response to media queries, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We have seen disturbing reports of exchange of fire on Armenia-Azerbaijan border which took place on July 12-13. India is concerned over this situation which threatens regional peace and security.”
“We urge both sides to maintain restraint and take all possible steps to maintain peace at the border. India believes that any lasting resolution of the conflict can only be achieved peacefully through diplomatic negotiations,”he further added.
In this regard, “we support OSCE Minsk Group’s continued efforts for a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Mr Srivastava said.
The OSCE is an organisation which encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
It has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects.
It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities.
All 57 participating States enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.
Skirmishes on the volatile border between the two South Caucasus nations began Sunday. Azerbaijan said it has lost 11 servicemen and one civilian in three days of fighting, and Armenia said four of its troops were killed Tuesday.
The two neighbors in the South Caucasus have been locked in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. International efforts to settle the conflict have remained stalled.
Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have frequently engaged in clashes. The current skirmishes appear to mark the most serious spike in hostilities since 2016 when scores were killed in four days of fighting