US to continue to engage actively with sides of Karabakh conflict – State Department (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.18
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The US supports a negotiated settlement to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and will continue to engage actively with the sides as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, a US State Department official told Trend.
The US longstanding policy, shared by the Minsk Group co-chairs, is that a just settlement must be based on international law, which includes the Helsinki Final Act and the principles of the non-use of force or threat of force and territorial integrity, said the official.
“But ultimately, the responsibility for peace falls on the shoulders of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the official added.
The State Department official noted that the United States and Azerbaijan share a strong partnership based on three aspects: security; economics and energy; and democracy and governance.
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.
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