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Hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan must cease: Polish FM

The Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease the military escalation along their border immediately. He appealed to the countries also as the chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

“The escalation of hostilities at the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan must cease immediately. The progress achieved so far by following the diplomatic path must not be wasted,” Mr Rau said during his visit to Ronne on Bornholm.

The minister said that the Polish chairmanship of the OSCE as well as Poland itself were ready to assist the two sides in reaching a stable solution to the conflict.

The hostilities erupted on Tuesday, minutes after midnight, when Azerbaijani forces unleashed an artillery barrage and drone attacks on many sections of Armenian territory, according to the Armenian Defence Ministry.

Azerbaijan said its forces returned fire in response to “large-scale provocations” by the Armenian military, claiming that the Armenian troops planted mines and repeatedly fired on Azerbaijani military positions.

New round of clashes

Fresh clashes erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops on Wednesday, the Armenian Defence Ministry said. Yesterday dozens of soldiers were killed in the deadliest fighting between the neighbours since 2020.

Azerbaijan used artillery, mortar and small arms in its morning attack morning, the Armenian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

“The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remained tense,” it added. The ministry restated Armenia’s position that Azerbaijan launched an aggression on its sovereign territory.

At least 49 Armenian and 50 Azeri militaries were killed, each side has said, blaming the other for the renewed fighting.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

Azerbaijan reclaimed broad swaths of Nagorno-Karabakh in a six-week war in 2020 that killed more than 6,600 people and ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal.

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