Question: Mr. Minister, how would you comment on yesterday’s statement issued by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs regarding the diversionary incursion attempt by Azerbaijan on the state border with Armenia?
Edward Nalbandian: The Co-Chairs are referring to what we have been continuously voicing. We agree that the ceasefire violations are unacceptable. We also share the view that agreements reached at the summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg should be strictly observed, including the creation of an OSCE investigative mechanism in the shortest possible time, as the Co-Chairs put in their statement. On numerous occasions the Co-Chair countries have pointed to the side which rejects the creation of such mechanism, therefore that side bears full responsibility for the incidents and ceasefire violations. Such mechanism will give an opportunity to cease what the Co-Chairs refer to as mutual accusations. Although when the Azerbaijani saboteur is neutralized in the Armenian trenches, it is more than evident even without the mechanism, which side initiates the attack.
We hope that the Co-Chairs will be persistent in promptly and strongly reacting to any use of force or threat of force in the conflict zone, especially, when the ceasefire violations result in human losses. The perpetrator should not be allowed to perceive the belated reaction as a tolerance towards its actions. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have continuously stated that the 1994-1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements should be strictly adhered. The incidents in violation of those agreements are unacceptable and they seriously damage the settlement process.
In such a situation when Azerbaijan hinders the creation of investigation mechanism and the expansion of capabilities of the team of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, the Co-Chairs remain the only format which could and should continue its preventive activity in accordance to its mandate.