Baku, Azerbaijan, July 22
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
"We are concerned about any loss of life on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and the line of contact," the U.S. co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick told Trend.
He commented on the capture of Azerbaijanis by Armenians in Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar region, as well as the reports by the Armenian media about the murder of one Azerbaijani.
"The number of incidents and resulting deaths and injuries is also a setback in our efforts to work with parties to find a lasting peace".
"The U.S. and the Minsk Group co-chairs are committed to helping the sides find a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. There is no military solution to this conflict," Warlick stressed.
He went on to add that the co-chairs look forward to meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Brussels on July 22 to discuss the next steps towards solution of the conflict.
"We hope that both presidents will accept the invitation to a summit in Paris. We witnessed that progress is possible when the presidents met in Vienna last November and believe that a continuation of that discussion is an important step in progress towards peace. The co-chairs and the U.S. stand ready to help in any way we can," the U.S. co-chair said.
Earlier, Armenian media reported that the Armenian forces, during an operation in the occupied Kalbajar District's Shaplar village, killed an Azerbaijani - Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis - Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. They also reported about the launching of criminal cases against the detained Azerbaijanis.
Ilaha Huseynova, the Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Baku Office Communication Department told Trend on July 16 that the families of Azerbaijanis, taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar officially appealed to the ICRC.
She added that currently the ICRC continues talks with the parties on this matter.
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.
Edited by CN