Heiko Langner: Breakthrough in Karabakh settlement can happen only after de-occupation of Karabakh
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be as important as military conflict in the eastern Ukraine for the international community, and the battles that occured on Saturday after nighttime provocations of the Armenian Armed Forces, who attacked peaceful Azerbaijani villages, clearly showed it, Berlin political scientist, Heiko Langner, stated in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.
"Dozens of soldiers on both sides were killed in one day, along with civilians, and apparently, there was a child among them. We need an urgent diplomatic initiative of the OSCE Minsk Group in order to stabilize the situation and put an end to the battles. The call from Russian President Vladimir Putin was very quick, and it deserves the support of other two chairs – the United States and France. Russia, undoubtedly, is the most influential and suitable mediator in this conflict among the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group," he stressed, adding that the battles should be a reason for accelerating a settlement of the conflict in accordance with international law.
It is also necessary to improve other aspects. "The mechanism of investigation of incidents on the front line should be developed and launched as quickly as possible. In addition, the observation mission of the OSCE along the contact line of troops should be generally intensified. In particular, the presence of permanent observation posts at the front line near the residential areas would significantly reduce the danger to the civilian population. Both sides should withdraw heavy weapons and snipers," Heiko Langner listed.
In general, the Berlin political scientist pointed out, any prolonged breakthrough in the settlement of the conflict can be expected only after the withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories around Nagorno-Karabakh, at least partially. "For the Azerbaijani side, undoubtedly, it would be the most effective motivation to peace. However, as a prerequisite to this, the current situation in the aforementioned context must be stabilized," he concluded.