Antelias (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholicos of the Armenians, Karekin II, and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Aram I, will together in the coming days visit Nagorno Karabakh, the region, with an Armenian majority, under Azerbaijan where in recent days the conflict between Azeris and Armenians violently exploded again. This was reported in an official statement by the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, sent to Agenzia Fides, in which it is specified that the two leaders of the Armenian Apostolic Church will carry out their visit "to bring their support to the armed forces and the Armenian population of Artsakh".
The issue of ethnic political tensions around Nagorno-Karabakh broke out again at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In that region, with an Armenian majority, in September 1991 the local soviets, by using the Soviet legislation of the time, had declared the birth of the new Republic, after Azerbaijan had decided to leave the USSR.
A referendum and the elections followed, but in January of the following year the Azerbaijani military reaction sparked a conflict which caused 30 thousand deaths and ended with a cease-fire in 1993, since then continously violated by attacks and border skirmishes.
The clashes in recent days between Azeri forces and the Armenian separatist authorities have been the most serious since the mid-nineties, and caused at least 75 deaths, including civilians, which led to a truce signed on Tuesday, April 5.
In recent days, Catholicos Karekin condemned "aggressive and premeditated operations from Azerbaijan, along the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh towards the areas inhabited by civilians and peaceful population", that "undermine the stability of the region and eliminate the efforts to resolve the dispute of the fight". On April 6 also Catholicos Aram I expressed his solidarity with the people of Artsakh in a telephone conversation with Bako Sahkyan, President of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, "de facto" State not recognized by any UN member. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 07/04/2016)