Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland said in a statement Wednesday, January 11, that the Council does not have a direct role in the negotiations over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, and always refers to, and supports the role of, the OSCE Minsk Group.
Citing recent clashes on Armenia-Azerbaijan border on December 29, 2016, Jagland also addressed the humanitarian aspects of the conflict.
"I am aware that the violations of the ceasefire resulted in casualties, and that the Armenian Armed Forces are still holding the body of an Azerbaijani serviceman killed in the fighting.
"I urge the parties to respect the ceasefire, and I fully support the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group’s call for the return, without delay, of human remains - in accordance with the agreements of the Astrakhan Summit of 2010 - bearing in mind the humanitarian nature of this issue”.
Azerbaijani troops attempted a subversive attack near the village of Chinari in Armenia's Tavush province in the early hours of December 29. Three Armenian servicemen were killed in the attack. The Armenian Defense Ministry said it possesses undeniable evidence of violation of the state border by Azerbaijan, adding that up to seven Azeri troops were also killed. Armenia still holds the body of one of Azerbaijan's soldiers, with ICRC engaged in negotiations over its return.