The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) released the following statement today:
The Co-Chairs strongly condemn the continued violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone as well as against targets in the territory of Armenia and Azerbaijan away from the Line of Contact, and express our alarm at reports of increasing civilian casualties. Targeting or threatening civilians is never acceptable under any circumstances. The Co-Chairs call on the sides to observe fully their international obligations to protect civilian populations.
The Co-Chairs also stress that participation in the escalating violence by external parties undermines efforts to achieve lasting peace in the region.
Recalling the October 1 statement of the Presidents of the three Co-Chair countries, the Co-Chairs once again call for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the resumption of substantive negotiations, in good faith and without preconditions.
The Co-Chairs also call urgently for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to enable the repatriation of remains of fallen serviceman in coordination with the OSCE and ICRC.