State Department calls escalation in Karabakh unacceptable
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 10
The recent escalation of violence in the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops and the use of heavy weapons are unacceptable, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters in a press briefing.
"We call for the sides to strictly adhere to the ceasefire regime. We express our deep condolences to the families of those who died or were injured in recent incidents in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict", - he added.
OSCE Minsk group co-chairs will hold the meeting between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia. We call on the sides to take all steps to avoid violence and to improve the atmosphere for negotiations, Kirby said.
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.