Baku, Azerbaijan, May. 18
The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia committed themselves to respect the ceasefire, to put in place important confidence-building measures, and to begin negotiations next month that can lead to a comprehensive settlement, John Kirby, spokesman of the US State Department, said during a briefing.
Presidents demonstrated political will to move beyond the status quo and to take steps that can benefit all the people in the region, he added.
The United States, for our part, will stand ready to assist them in that regard, Kirby said. "It was a positive meeting and a step in the right direction. And now everybody has to do the hard work of implementing the things that they committed to".
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.