The United Kingdom welcomed the most recent humanitarian ceasefire, and we are once again deeply disappointed to see that it is not being respected. Neil Bush, Head of UK Delegation to the OSCE, Vienna, stated this at the OSCE Permanent Council on Thursday, presenting the UK statement on the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
“We strongly condemn the continued shelling of civilian areas. Continued reports of civilian casualties are a stark reminder of the impact that this conflict is having on innocent civilians. Our position is clear; targeting of civilian settlements is deplorable. We offer our condolences to those who have lost loved ones. Our thoughts are with those who have been displaced and whose lives are being affected.
We call on both parties to respect the ceasefire and return swiftly to the negotiating table; recognising the fact that the continuing violence is having a significant impact on civilians.
We urge the parties to allow the ICRC immediate access as they seek to facilitate return of prisoners of war and repatriate the remains of the deceased.
The international community continues to make clear that there can be no military solution to the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. We urge both parties to return to substantive negotiations under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The Minsk Group is the primary format through which a settlement must be reached.
Once again I would like to reiterate the UKs support for the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in their role in mediating negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the aforesaid statement also reads.