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2014 Armenian–Azerbaijani border clashes
Part of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Artsakh Current en.png
  Territory controlled by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
  Territory claimed by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic but controlled by Azerbaijan
Date27 July 2014 – 8 August 2014
LocationArmenia–Azerbaijan state border, Nagorno-Karabakh–Azerbaijan line of contact
Result Status quo ante bellum
Belligerents
 Nagorno-Karabakh
 Armenia
 Azerbaijan
Casualties and losses
Armenia Nagorno-Karabakh Republic 6 soldiers killed[1] Azerbaijan 13 soldiers killed[1]

Clashes on the Armenian–Azerbaijan border (Tavush[2]Qazakh[3]) and the line of contact between the Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan started on 27 July 2014.[4] Reported casualties of the clashes were some of the highest since the 1994 ceasefire agreement that ended the Nagorno-Karabakh War.[3][5]

Background[]

As the Soviet Union was dissolving, ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan fought a brief conflict, backed by Armenia proper, that resulted in the de facto independence of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) alongside a 1994 ceasefire agreement and what academics have called a frozen conflict. At the same time, Azerbaijan controls the exclave of the Nakhichivan Autonomous Republic bordering Armenia that is not contiguous with its main territory.

Further, at the General Debate during the United Nations General Assembly, Armenia and Azerbaijan have regularly used their two allotted Rights of Reply for at least the last few years in argument over the conflict.

Clashes[]

Azerbaijani forces reported twelve military casualties, eight of which were incurred by 1 August after three days of sporadic fighting and four more deaths occurred on 2 August.[6] The Ministry of Defense of Nagorno-Karabakh reported, on 2 August, one military casualty that occurred overnight.[7]

The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan stated that the four soldiers were killed on 2 August died in a clash with what they called "Armenian sabotage groups" conducting an operation in the Agdam–Tartar area.[7] There were other injuries to soldiers, but they were not life-threatening.[8] The Nagorno-Karabakh Ministry of Defense said that its only casualty occurred in what it labeled a "successful repulsion of an attack by Azerbaijani commando units."[7] NKO's authorities later upgraded the toll to three dead soldiers.[9]

On 6 August 2014, the death toll reached 18 people.[10] The same day it was revealed that the presidents of both countries were to meet to discuss the clashes at neutral ground in Sochi.[11]

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has expressed his "deep concern" over the clashes and has urged the countries to refrain from further violence.[12]

One Azerbaijani citizen, Shahbaz Guliyev, and a Russian national, Dilgham Asgarov, now are held captive in Karabakh as alleged commandos. The de facto government there and Armenian officials claim that the two were caught in the act; a third man, Hasan Hasanov, supposedly was killed during capture.[13] The announcement of Guliyev’s capture coincided with an official confirmation that a 17-year-old ethnic Armenian resident of Kelbajar, Smbat Tsakanian, went missing a week ago. Officials in Stepanakert did not rule out a connection between his disappearance and the alleged Azerbaijani infiltration.[14] Baku has denied that the two have anything to do with the military, and has demanded that the International Committee of the Red Cross secure their release and the return of Hasanov's body. “If Armenia is currently demonstrating such a position on releasing the hostages and returning the body, how we can talk about the desire to coexist in the future based on mutual confidence[?]” senior presidential administration official Ali Hasanov asked the ICRC last month. (Baku does not negotiate with representatives of separatist Karabakh.) The ICRC on August 12 visited the two men, Azerbaijani media report; a Karabakhi report claims it took letters for their families. The organization has not commented publicly. Meanwhile, Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian has called for the punishment of both men—a call likely to pick up popular momentum after the death of Petrosian.[13]

On 7 August 2014, civilian Karen Petrosian, from the Chinari village in Karabakh, wandered into Azerbaijani territory and was captured. Initial news reports from Baku said that Petrosian was detained by villagers in Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district bordering Tavush and handed over to military authorities. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed afterwards, however, that he is a member of an Armenian commando squad that tried unsuccessfully to conduct a cross-border sabotage attack.[15] It said Azerbaijani troops captured him after killing four other Armenian soldiers. The Armenian military laughed off that claim. The Azerbaijani government posted photos of dead soldiers to back up the claim that Azerbaijani soldiers had killed 4 Armenian soldiers. The photos were Thai soldiers that had been killed in 2007.[16] Images released by the Azerbaijani authorities late on Thursday showed two masked men in army fatigues posing for a photograph with Petrosian. The latter wore army boots and a camouflage vest in that photo. Earlier pictures of the Armenian villagers, which were apparently taken by Azerbaijani civilians, showed him wearing sneakers and no pieces of military uniform. The Defense Ministry in Baku said Karen Petrosian “suddenly” died in the morning. A ministry statement cited by Azerbaijani news agencies claimed that “acute heart and lung failure” is the likely cause of his death. It said that forensic doctors in the western Azerbaijani city of Gyanja are now conducting an autopsy on the young man’s body. Armenia’s government and military are certain to reject this theory and say that Petrosian was tortured to death.[15]

Farida Tagiyeva, the first to spot Petrosyan in Agbulaq, said she heard him call outside her house. "I asked him what he was doing there, and he said 'tea, tea,'" she told RFE/RL. "Then I told my son there is an Armenian here, and my son started asking him: 'Why are you scaring my mother? What are you doing here?' The man said 'I have no weapon, don't worry.'" Niyameddin Mammedov, another villager, confirmed that Petrosyan was unarmed and acted peacefully. "As soon as he came, I shook his hand," Mammedov said. "Then I twisted his arm behind his back and checked his pockets for weapons or a knife. I didn't find anything. He showed that he didn't have any weapons and offered no resistance." Mammedov said all Petrosyan had on him was a mobile phone, in which he found pictures of people in uniform. Petrosyan explained they were photos of his brother.[17]

Reactions[]

Involved parties[]

  •  Armenia – Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said that President Serzh Sargsyan was due to meet his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev in Sochi, Russia the following week to calm the situation.[9]
  •  Azerbaijan – MP Ganira Pashayeva criticized the international organizations for their indifferent position on the recent escalation of tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.[18]
    • Qarabağ's football players Rashad Sadygov, Ansi Agolli, Reynaldo, Gara Garayev,[19][20] former Turkish footballer Hakan Şükür,[21] Fenerbahçe S.K. supporters,[22] Azerbaijan women's national volleyball team's players Oksana Parkhomenko, Valeriya Korotenko, Kseniya Kovalenko, Ayshan Abdulazimova and coach Onat Kurt,[19] Turkish pop singer Sibel Can[23] expressed their condolences to the families of the people killed.
    • Russian girl group Serebro cancelled their concert in Baku as a mark of respect to the families of the event.[24]
    • Azerbaijani football player Rauf Aliyev celebrated first goal in Azerbaijan Premier League season by salute as sign of respect to the families of victims.[25]

International[]

Supranational bodies
  •  European Union — The European External Action Service called "on both sides to immediately respect the ceasefire, refrain from the use of force or any threat thereof, and continue efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict." [26]
States
  •  Georgia — Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili expressed concern over recent flare-up of violence and stated, "We are watching closely the developments in our neighboring, friendly states. I hope and I am confident that they will come to an agreement soon and peace will be restored in this region." President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated that Georgia is friend to both Armenia and Azerbaijan and added, "Regional stability and potential of this region should be directed solely towards progress and better life of our people and not in any way towards conflicts."[27]
  •  Iran — Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieyeh Afkham urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to hold talks to reach an agreement. She expressed regret over killing several people in a recent military clash and invited both sides to exercise restraint.[28]
  •  Russia – The Foreign Ministry issued a statement that read it "extends its most sincere condolences to the families of the victims" and "considers the events of the past few days a serious violation of ceasefire agreements and declared its intention to find a political settlement of the conflict."[29] The deputy director of the Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department, Maria Zakharova, said that "further escalation is unacceptable" and that "we urge all the warring sides to exercise restraint, give up the use of force and take urgent measures aimed at stabilizing the situation".[29]
  •  Turkey – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Aliyev to offer his condolences.[30] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that read it; "We are following with sorrow and concern the recent clashes that occurred on the line of contact on the occupied Azerbaijani territories which resulted in the loss of many lives. We wish God’s mercy to our Azerbaijani brothers who were martyred in the conflicts and extend our condolences to their families and the brotherly people of Azerbaijan.[31]
  • United States – On 1 August, the United States called on the sides "to take immediate action to reduce tensions and respect the cease-fire."[7] The U.S. Department of State deputy spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said that the State Department is urging the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet "at the earliest opportunity to resume dialogue on key issues."[7][32]
The U.S. co-chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, James Warlick, wrote on Twitter: We are seriously concerned about the recent upsurge in violence along the line of contact. The ceasefire needs to be respected."[9]

See also[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Putin meets leaders over Nagorno-Karabakh". 9 August 2014. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140829003640/http://news.yahoo.com/putin-meets-leaders-over-nagorno-karabakh-150601781.html. 
  2. "Azerbaijani side stopped firing at villages of Armenia's Tavush only in morning". Armenpress. 1 August 2014. http://armenpress.am/eng/news/771333/azerbaijani-side-stopped-firing-at-villages-of-armenias-tavush-only-in-morning.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "8 Azerbaijani soldiers killed in shootout on Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line". Vestnik Kavkaza. 1 August 2014. http://vestnikkavkaza.net/news/politics/58349.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. "...becoming the most violent incident since the 1994 ceasefire agreement." 
  4. "За неделю в зоне Карабахского конфликта погибли 24 человека" (in Russian). http://www.gazeta.ru/politics/news/2014/08/02/n_6362813.shtml. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  5. Khojoyan, Sara; Agayev, Zulfugar (1 August 2014). "Azerbaijan-Armenia Border Skirmishes Turn Deadliest in 20 Years". http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-01/azerbaijan-armenia-border-skirmishes-turn-deadliest-in-20-years.html. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  6. "Soldiers killed as tensions rise in disputed Nagorny Karabakh". Deutsche Welle. 2 August 2014. http://www.dw.de/soldiers-killed-as-tensions-rise-in-disputed-nagorny-karabakh/a-17827777. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Azerbaijani Defense Ministry Says Four Soldiers Killed Near Karabakh". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 2 August 2014. http://www.rferl.org/content/karabakh-azerbaijani-troops-killed/25478588.html. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  8. "Azerbaijani Defence Ministry: Lives of the wounded are not in danger at hospital". Apa. http://en.apa.az/xeber_azerbaijani_defence_ministry___at_hospit_214718.html. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Fifteen die in clashes over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28626986. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  10. Kuchera, Joshua. "Death Toll In Karabakh Fighting Continues To Rise". http://www.eurasianet.org/node/69346. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  11. "PressTV - Armenia, Azeri presidents to meet over Karabakh". Presstv.ir. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/06/374254/armenia-azerbaijan-to-talk-karabakh/. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  12. Agayev, Zulfugar. "UN Chief Seeks to Ease Azerbaijan-Armenia Tension". Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-05/un-chief-seeks-to-ease-azerbaijan-armenia-tension.html. Retrieved 2014-08-06. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Lomsadze, Giorgi. "Videos of Captives Further Fuel Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict". Eurasianet. http://www.eurasianet.org/node/69506. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  14. Stepanian, Ruzanna. "Azeri Captive In Karabakh Not Soldier, Says Baku". Armenialiberty. http://www.armenialiberty.org/content/article/25454145.html. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Armenian Captive Dies in Azerbaijan". Eurasianet. 2014-08-08. http://www.eurasianet.org/node/69451. 
  16. "Azerbaijani published photos of Thai soldiers". times.am. 2014-08-07. http://www.times.am/?p=45004&l=am. 
  17. Bigg, Claire. "Man's Death After Mysterious Border Crossing Sparks Row Between Baku, Yerevan". http://www.rferl.org/content/death-border-azerbaijan-armenia/26525206.html. Retrieved August 11, 2014. 
  18. Rajabova, Sara. "Azerbaijani MP slams int'l bodies for indifferent stance". http://www.azernews.az/azerbaijan/69267.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 ""Албания 2 – 0 армения". Как спортсмены отреагировали на гибель девятерых солдат азербайджанской армии" (in Russian). Azerisport.com. http://www.azerisport.com/news/20140802021430239.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  20. "Reynaldo və Aqolli də əsgərlərimizin cəbhədə şəhid olmasına biganə qalmadı" (in Azerbaijani). http://www.futbolxeber.az/news/country/14118/. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  21. "Хакан Шукюр выразил соболезнования в связи с гибелью азербайджанских солдат" (in Russian). Azerisport.com. http://www.azerisport.com/football/20140802115944358.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  22. "Фанаты Фенербахче поддержали Азербайджан" (in Russian). http://www.azerisport.com/football/20140803010544005.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  23. "Сибель Джан о гибели азербайджанских военнослужащих – ФОТО" (in Russian). http://www.1news.az/bomond/bomaz/20140802122822859.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  24. "Группа "Серебро" о гибели азербайджанских военнослужащих: "Мы сердцем с вами…" - ФОТО" (in Russian). http://www.1news.az/bomond/bomaz/20140802114252050.html. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  25. "Рауф Алиев посвялит гол шахидам (ФОТО)" (in Azerbaijani). http://www.azerifootball.com/ru/13/news/24870.html. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  26. "Statement by the Spokesperson on Nagorno-Karabakh". Brussels: europa.eu. 3 August 2014. http://eeas.europa.eu/statements/docs/2014/140803_01_en.pdf. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  27. "Tbilisi 'Concerned' over Nagorno-Karabakh Tensions". Civil Georgia. 4 August 2014. http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=27554. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  28. "Iran: Armenia-Azerbaijan Republic dispute has no military solution". 3 August 2014. http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81258666/Politic/Iran__Armenia-Azerbaijan_Republic_dispute_has_no_military_solution. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Events in Nagorno-Karabakh Violate Ceasefire Agreements – Russian Foreign Ministry". RIA Novosti. 2 August 2014. http://en.ria.ru/world/20140802/191624268/Events-in-Nagorno-Karabakh-Violate-Ceasefire-Agreements--Russian.html. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  30. "13 şehit sonrası sürpriz telefon" (in Turkish). Haber 7. 2 August 2014. http://www.haber7.com/dis-politika/haber/1186954-13-sehit-sonrasi-surpriz-telefon. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  31. "No: 259, 2 August 2014 Press Release Regarding the Incidents That Occurred in the Line of Contact". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey. 2 August 2014. http://www.mfa.gov.tr/no_-259_-2-august-2014-press-release-regarding-the-incidents--that-occurred-in-the-line-of-contact.en.mfa. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  32. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/230150.htm

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