YEREVAN (A.W.)—Two Armenian servicemen were killed in the Karvachar region of the Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR/Artsakh), hours after the NKR Defense Army and the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan agreed to halt the fighting along the NKR Line of Contact (LoC). Suren Aramyan and Grigor Avetisyan—both born in 1997—were killed overnight on April 5-6, according to Artsrun Hovhannisyan, spokesperson for the Armenian Defense Ministry.
The decision to stop fighting was taken in light of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group negotiations that took place in Vienna yesterday. The Minsk Group issued a statement on April 5 strongly condemning the violence, expressing condolences to the families of all casualties, reiterating that “there is no military solution to the conflict,” and stressing the need to immediately begin negotiations.
Sarkisian, Merkel Hold Meeting
During an official visit to Germany, Armenian President Serge Sarkisian met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier today. Besides speaking about a number of issues regarding Armenia-Germany relations, Sarkisian and Merkel spoke in detail about the conflict in NKR, according to a press statement released by President Sarkisian’s office.
“The people of Karabagh want no war; they want a simple and understandable thing which all colonized people have always fought for: They want to master their own destiny and be free in creating their own future. They want their children to have a peaceful and happy childhood; they want to live in a democratic state. They have no other aspirations,” Sarkisian said in a joint press conference following the meeting.
In her remarks, Merkel said that Sarkisian had explained his position to her in regard to the situation in NKR, and reiterated her commitment to help find a resolution in the conflict. “We are trying within the Minsk Group as well as with the OSCE to accelerate the process maintaining the ceasefire for both sides and we would like both sides to negotiate. There has been little progress so far,” she said during the press conference. Merkel also said that a de-escalation of violence in the area would be beneficial for Armenia. “Of course it is in everyone’s interest for conflicts to be resolved, particularly for a small country like Armenia given its geographical position. Of course we understand that it is difficult,” she said.
Source: Armenian Weekly Mid-West