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American analyst: Snipers along the Line-of-Contact between Azerbaijan and Armenia are threatening a compromise solution over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Washington. Isabel Levine – APA. Mark Dietzen, a prominent American analyst and specialist on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, believes that snipers along the Line-of-Contact between Azerbaijan and Armenia are threatening a compromise solution over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, APA’s correspondent reports.

“Since 1994’s Ceasefire Agreement, sharpshooters have claimed about 30 victims annually on both the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides”, he says, adding, “but as tensions mount over Nagorno-Karabakh, sniping’s tit-for-tat bloodletting is slowly claiming another victim- compromise”.

Mr. Dietzen, who has researched the conflict for many years, reminds that, the OSCE’s Minsk Group has proposed the Madrid Document, “a gradational peace plan”.

“Regrettably, the increasingly militarized nature of the conflict- most notably through snipers’ habitual ceasefire violations- are preventing the development of the mutual trust needed as a prerequisite for compromise”, he adds, underlining, that as a result, the prospect that the territories will be returned is becoming more and more remote.

The analyst also mentioned that, if implemented, the Madrid Principles would seek to address the security concern through its provision for “international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation.” However, he adds, with every new sniper attack, however, this “if” becomes less likely.

“The Line-of-Contact no longer risks becoming a Line-of-Death: it already is”, he says, adding that absent change, the final hopes for a peaceful compromise to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be buried beneath it.

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