Baku, Azerbaijan, July 16
The sides of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict need to reaffirm their commitment to achieving progress in the peaceful settlement of the issue, said Eric Rubin, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.
He made the remarks while speaking at Brookings Institution, Armenian media reported.
Rubin said that there is no alternative to the peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
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 US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Eric Rubin said that the US considers this issue from the perspective of achieving fair, peaceful, long-term and mutually beneficial settlement.
Everyone should consider this issue namely from this point of view, since there is no better solution to this problem, he added.
Rubin added that all other alternatives are so awful that there is no even point to consider them.
Meanwhile, the high-ranking US diplomat said that although it is not easy, the US anyway hopes that the sides will reaffirm their commitment to achieving peace.
Together with two other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group from Russia and France, the US will continue rendering assistance in the peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh issue, according to Rubin.
He added that the efforts of the co-chairing countries are especially important in preventing the escalation of the conflict.
Both sides of the conflict should make every effort in order to prevent the aggravation of the situation, he said, adding that in this tense and dangerous period, it is crucial to avoid incidents.