8 Soldiers Killed in Conflict over Armenia-Azerbaijan Border

Eight Azerbaijan soldiers were killed in a fight over Armenia-Azerbaijan border, as it continued for a second successive day. The Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan told that they were killed when Armenian commandos started raiding on the frontline in the western Gazakh district.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are former Soviet republics in South Caucasus and have been engaged in war for more than 20 years. Azeri Defense Minister cited that five of its soldiers died in this clash while Armenia reported three of its men were killed in a nearby village of Gazakh.  Both countries traded blame at each other for the sudden eruption of violence. Azerbaijan said that Armenian soldiers opened fire first. Armenia defense reported that the Azeri soldiers took an opening move to cross Armenia border and Armenian soldiers tried to intercept their contingent move and was trying to counteract, with no body killed.

Edward Nalbandian, Armenia Defense Minister narrated that Azerbaijan is only intensifying this situation and increasing tension in the region. He also stated that this act is only jeopardizing the negotiation process and stability. He held Azerbaijan responsible for any aftermath.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, also reacted to this event and stated that these shootings will only hamper resolving the Karabakh conflict. While being interviewed by a trend news agency, he added that such events will continue to happen until dispute is peacefully resolved. He also announced that he will meet Armenia Defense Minister in Paris, in the presence of French, Russian and U.S diplomats, Co-chairs of OSCE’s Minsk Group, to settle the Karabakh issue. He further stated that Azerbaijan is ready to accept any further status-quo from Armenia.

The co-chairs of OSCE, Robert Bradtke of the United States, Igor Popov of the Russia and Jacques Faure of France, met Presidents of both Armenia and Azerbaijan, on 12th May, to discuss the Karabachos conflict. The co-chairs discussed on what steps to take, which included speeding up joint commitments made by President Aliyev and Sargsian. They also conversed on carrying out investigations on cease fire violations and advised both nations to exercise altruism. Both countries were urged by Co-chairs to refrain from border-line incidents and to exercise control over retaliation. In addition, the co-chairs also urged to protect the cultural and heritage sites of both Armenia and Azerbaijan, guard shared cultures and establish a peace in the region.

United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, during her visit to the Yerevan, expressed her views to create a polished solution to the ongoing violence. She discussed about latest incidents along the front lines in her meeting with the President. She expressed her deep concern about the killings of young soldiers and innocent civilians. She further added that the use of violence will never assist in bringing stability to the region, rather it will escalate greater clashes between two armies. She told she will hold a meeting with the President and will put forth ideas, suggestions and resolute considerations to avoid any instability and violence in the region.