PRESS RELEASE: ARTSAKH MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF ARMISTICE WITH AZERBAIJAN
Peace Remains Fragile 18 Years after the Agreement was Signed
For Immediate Release ~ May 15, 2012
OFFICE OF THE NAGORNO KARABAKH REPUBLIC IN THE USA 1334 G St. N.W., Washington, DC 20005 Tel: (202) 223-4330 Fax: (202) 223-4332 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: www.nkrusa.org
May 12 marks the 18th anniversary of the cease fire agreement signed by Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia. Co-signed by the official representatives of the three countries, the document remains one of few tangible achievements in the Karabakh peace process. Despite frequent violations along the line of contact, the armistice agreement allows maintaining a relative stability in the South Caucasus.
In the early 1994, after a series of heavy military defeats and suffering significant losses in manpower and equipment, Azerbaijan finally accepted the armistice agreement. On May 5, 1994 parliamentary leaders from Azerbaijan, Artsakh and Armenia met in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on the sidelines of Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States to co-sign the Bishkek Protocol, which gave a political endorsement to a permanent cease-fire.
In the days that followed, defense ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan Serzh Sargsyan and Mamedraffi Mamedov, as well as the commander of Artsakh Defense Army Samvel Babayan put their signatures under the cease-fire agreement, which envisaged cessation of hostilities from midnight on May 12, 1994, and establishment of a buffer zone. The agreement does not mention an expiration date, and is supposed to remain in force until the peace agreement is reached.
Unfortunately, Azerbaijan continues to infringe assumed commitments by frequent violations of the cease-fire regime. Bellicose rhetoric by Azerbaijani officials and the resulting radical anti-Armenian atmosphere in the Azeri society leaves little hope for a final peace agreement to be reached anytime soon.
For its part, Artsakh continues to support the international mediators’ vision of a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict that can only be based on direct negotiations and good will.
* * *
* * *
The Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the United States is based in Washington, DC and works with the U.S. government, academia and the public representing the official policies and interests of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.
This material is distributed by the Office of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic in the USA on behalf of the Government of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. The NKR Office is registered with the U.S. Government under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.