UN calls for talks on Caucasus hostilities

Source: AFP Published: 2020/7/23 17:13:40

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech during the 7th Global Baku Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan on March 14, 2019. Photo: IC

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for an "immediate and full de-escalation" and "a return to negotiations" between Azerbaijan and Armenia after recent clashes on the border between the two former Soviet republics.

Guterres spoke by telephone separately with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, a UN spokesman said.

He expressed his concern to them after the recent fighting, and asked them to refrain "from provocative rhetoric," the spokesman added.

Guterres also expressed his "full support" for the efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to ease tensions between the two countries. 

On July 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of Russia's Security Council expressed "extreme concern" over the flare-up in fighting between the South Caucasus countries that erupted last week, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a statement.

The rivals have been locked for decades in a conflict over Azerbaijan's southwestern separatist region of Nagorny Karabakh, which was seized by ethnic Armenian separatists in a 1990s war that claimed 30,000 lives. 

The fighting on the northern border recently left at least 17 people dead. Each side accused the other of starting the hostilities.



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