U.S. Department of State calls Azerbaijan, Armenia on immediate action to reduce tension
Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 5
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
The U.S Department of State expresses first deep concern about the escalation of violence along the lines of contact that has resulted in significant casualties since July 31st, the U.S Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki said at a briefing.
"We certainly extend our condolences to the families of those killed or injured and call on the sides to take - call on all sides to take immediate action to reduce tensions and respect the cease-fire," she said. "There can be no military solution to this conflict."
She added that retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement.
"The U.S remains committed, as a co-chair of the Minsk Group, to helping all sides reach a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," she said.
"We have traditionally been supportive of meetings to have a dialogue about these issues," she added.
Armenian armed forces launched a diversion on the night of July 31-August 1, when reconnaissance and sabotage groups tried to cross the contact line of the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops through the territories of Aghdam and Terter regions.
Armenia's reconnaissance and sabotage group attacked the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces in the direction of Azerbaijan's Aghdam and Agdere regions on the night of August 1-2. Azerbaijan managed to locate the group and the sabotage attempt was prevented.
During the last four days, Azerbaijani positions have been constantly under attack, and 13 servicemen have been killed, several more were wounded. Armenian side suffered more losses while trying to hide this fact from the public.
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.