Azerbaijani defense minister calls for concrete steps to return dead body of soldier

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24 January 2017

Upon the instructions of Azerbaijani President, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev, Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov on Monday met Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk.

 

The sides discussed the current situation at the contact line of troops and ceasefire violations, the Defense Ministry told APA.

 

The minister emphasized that concrete steps have to be taken to return the body of Azerbaijani soldier killed fighting to prevent an Armenian reconnaissance group at the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border on December 29 last year.  

 

Ambassador Kasprzyk said in his turn that additional actions will be taken in a little while, expressing his confidence that the problem will soon be solved.

 

A reconnaissance group of the Armenian Armed Forces tried to violate the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border on Dec. 29, 2016. The Armenian group found itself in the ambush of the Azerbaijani army while violating the border and suffered heavy losses. Chingiz Gurbanov, a serviceman of Azerbaijani Armed Forces, went missing during the fight. Later, news came that the Armenians had taken the body.

 

The Azerbaijani side has officially appealed to the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Azerbaijan, the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as to Andrzej Kasprzyk, personal representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office. Despite this, the Azerbaijani soldier’s body has not been given yet.

 

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.

 

A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.

 

The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.

 

Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.

 

Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.  

 

Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.

 

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