Secretary-General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović-Burić, has made the following statement concerning the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh:
"I am gravely concerned about reports of military escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I call on our Member States, Armenia and Azerbaijan, to show responsibility and restraint by immediately stopping hostilities.
"When entering the Council of Europe, both countries committed themselves to solve the conflict by peaceful means, and this commitment is to be strictly respected.
"In these difficult times, my thoughts go to the civilians – including children, women, and the elderly –who once again feel more vulnerable than ever, as well as to all those suffering from the conflict.
"On behalf of the Council of Europe, I call on the authorities of our two Member States to do everything possible to protect human lives and not to engage in military conflict. No efforts should be spared to stop the escalation.
"In this respect, we reiterate our support for the OSCE Minsk group Co-chairs in their work to help our Member States find a peaceful solution to this conflict," the official website of the Council of Europe reports.