Steinmeier: Karabakh conflict has potential to escalate

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has the potential to escalate, RIA Novosti quoted the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier as saying June 29.

Steinmeier will visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, starting from June 29.

He will pay the visits as part of Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship, and the visits are aimed at facilitating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement as well, said German Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

“During Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship we bear responsibility for reducing this danger as much as possible by strengthening the ceasefire, by taking confidence-building measures and by ensuring the imminent start of the negotiations,” Steinmeier told reporters in Berlin on the eve of his visit to South Caucasus.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

Source: Trend