The co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Process have issued a terse statement calling on the sides in the Karabakh conflict to honour their committment to refrain from use of force. In a statement posted on Sunday on the OSCE website, Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France and Richard Hoagland of the United States of America,said,
According to reports from the Ministries of Defense of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as other sources, in the early morning of February 25 there was a serious breach of cease fire on the Line of Contact, resulting in casualties. Several bodies remain in the no-man's land. The Sides accuse each other of an incursion attempt.
The statement said that the three diplomats "call upon the Parties to keep heavy military equipment, which had been moved earlier close to the LOC, in its present positions and to allow recovery of the dead, as it was agreed upon yesterday under mediation of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chaiman-in-Office." They also reminded the parties of their commitments to refrain from the use of force.
Earlier a military spokesperson for the de facto authroties of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic stated that the bodies of five Azerbaijani soldiers remained in the no-man's land. Both sides accused each other of multiple cease fire violations between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Armenia is marking the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first Republic in May 1918. Alexandre Petrossian, a young political analyst based in Yerevan, reflects on the difficulties encountered by the founding fathers, and the achievements of the first republic