Baku, Azerbaijan, June 21
The United States is deeply concerned over the recent violations of the ceasefire, which have resulted in multiple casualties on the Line of Contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops over the last week, the US Department of State has said in a message.
“We urge the sides to avoid escalation and encourage immediate consideration of measures to reduce tensions along the Line of Contact and the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
“In their statement released June 19, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs called upon the parties to re-engage in negotiations on substance, in good faith, and with political will. The Co-Chairs further underscored that such negotiations are the only way to bring a lasting peace to the people of the region, who expect and deserve progress toward settlement of the conflict,” said the Department of State, adding, “The United States continues to engage intensely with the sides.”
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.