by Tatevik Shahunyan
"We are very concerned by the latest armed incidents which caused a number of casualties along the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani State border in recent days," Spokesman for EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said on Sunday.
"We call on both sides to immediately respect the ceasefire, refrain from the use of force or any threat thereof, and continue efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict.
The EU recalls that it stands ready to engage in renewed efforts towards a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to further contribute to peace-building efforts, in full complementarity with the OSCE Minsk Group.
We reiterate our full support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and the work of the three Co-Chairs, especially with regard to the need to continue negotiations at the highest level, as was agreed at the meeting between Presidents Sargsyan and Aliyev in Vienna on November 19, 2013," the EU says in the statement. It is noteworthy that there is upsurge in tensions in the Karabakh conflict zone. Azerbaijan made several sabotage attacks last week. Both the sides suffered casualties.
Azerbaijan lost 25 soldiers. There were 5 deaths on the Armenian side.The U.S. Department of State, Russian Foreign Ministry, OSCE CiO as well as OSCE Minsk Group Co- Chairs expressed deep concern over escalating tensions and urge the parties to respect the ceasefire agreement and take steps to defuse tension.