Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10
The United States hopes that the tension on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops will decrease, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Richard Morningstar told journalists on Feb. 10 after a meeting with students of the ADA University.
"Any lose of life is tragic. There has been escalated tension on the line of contact over several weeks. We hope that it will decrease. The escalated tension doesn't help the negotiation process and can create unintended consequences and miscalculations," he said.
Morningstar stressed that the U.S. urges both sides to observe the truce on the contact line and refrain from any activities that will cause any further lose of life.
Regarding the meeting of the two countries' presidents the ambassador said the U.S. hopes that they will meet again soon.
"Well, we hope so. Obviously it is up to the two presidents to determine whether they will meet again soon. We hope they will. I think frankly the only way this is ultimately going be resolved is if the two presidents can sit down and work out concrete steps towards the resolution," Morningstar said. "The Minsk Group plays a role. And we can play a role in mediating, facilitating, coming up with ideas. But ultimately it is going to be the political will of both countries that will get this resolved and finally end this conflict that I know frustrates everybody in this country".
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia 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.