Baku, Azerbaijan, June 20
By Sabina Ahmadova -Trend:
The casualties on the line of contact is tragic and emphasizes the need for resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as soon as possible, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Richard Morningstar told reporters on June 20.
"Any casualties on the line of contact are tragic and they should be avoided. They emphasize the need for the resolution of the conflict as soon as possible. We will continue to work in that direction", he said.
He stressed that the Minsk Group co-chairs are working hard.
"We are as well working with both countries to try to ensure that hostilities on the line of contact are not escalated and they become minimized", Morningstar said.
He also added that the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wants very much to come to Azerbaijan and to the region, however, he said there are no dates for such a visit.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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