by Marianna Mkrtchyan
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has voiced his opposition to the renewed fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus, urging the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides to respect a ceasefire agreement, according to the UN website.
In a statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he shares the deep concerns expressed by the Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, the group driving efforts to find a peaceful solution to conflict, and other international partners.
Mr. Ban "urges all parties to respect the ceasefire agreement, refrain from further violence and commit themselves to immediate de-escalation and continuing dialogue in the pursuit of a rapid and peaceful political solution," according to the statement.
The recent upsurge in tension and violence along the Line of Contact and the Armenian- Azerbaijani border is being described by media reports as the worst flare-up in many years.
Aiming to resolve what he described as a "dangerous situation," Mr. Ban expressed his full support for the efforts by the OSCE and other parties working to resolve the conflict.
It is noteworthy that there is upsurge in tensions in the Karabakh conflict zone. Azerbaijan has made several sabotage attacks lately. Both the sides suffered casualties. Azerbaijan lost 27 soldiers. There were 6 deaths on the Armenian side. The U.S. Department of State, Russian Foreign Ministry, French Foreign Ministry, OSCE CiO as well as OSCE Minsk Group Co- Chairs, EU and many countries have expressed deep concern over escalating tensions and urged the parties to respect the ceasefire agreement and take steps to defuse tension.