United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres has held telephone conversations with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, to encourage them to de-escalate the conflict. This was stated at a briefing on Wednesday, 22 July, by the UN Secretary General’s official representative, Stefan Dujarrik.
“In both conversations, the Secretary General expressed concern over the clashes on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Djuzharrik said.
According to him, Gutterish also urged Baku and Yerevan to give up provocative rhetoric and return to negotiations.
At the briefing on July 20, Djuzharrik stated that a full-scale military clash between Armenia and Azerbaijan would be a disaster. He noted that the UN Secretary General called the parties to the conflict for maximum restraint.
The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border exacerbated on July 12, when clashes took place between servicemen of the two countries in Tovuz region of Azerbaijan.
As a result 12 servicemen from Azerbaijan and four servicemen in Armenia were killed. On July 16, Azerbaijani servicemen fired on Armenian border villages Aygepar and Movses with howitzers of D-30 and made an attempt of sabotage.
After that, according to the press service of the Armenian Defense Ministry, the situation on the border remained calm for several days.
Relations between Baku and Yerevan remain tense over Nagorno-Karabakh. In February 1988, this autonomous region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijani SSR.
During the 1992-1994 armed conflict, Baku lost control of the region and a number of surrounding areas. Since 1992, negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the conflict have been conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group led by the co-chairs – Russia, the United States and France.