Baku, Azerbaijan, July 7
The US Department of State has extended condolences to the families of victims of recent Armenian provocation against Azerbaijan, according to Heather Nauert, the spokesperson for the United States Department of State.
The United States remains deeply concerned over Tuesday’s violations of the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that resulted in multiple civilian casualties, including possibly a two-year-old child, she said at a press briefing on Thursday.
"This happened near the line of contact. We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of those victims," Nauert said.
"Along with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, we call upon the sides to cease military action and return to the negotiating table. Our policy remains clear in that region: The only solution to this conflict is a negotiated settlement based on international law that includes adherence to the principles of non-use of force and territorial integrity," the official said.
On July 4 at about 20:40 (GMT+4 hours), the Armenian armed forces, using 82-mm and 120-mm mortars and grenade launchers, shelled the Alkhanly village of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli district.
As a result of this provocation, the residents of the village Sahiba Allahverdiyeva, 50, and Zahra Guliyeva, 2, were killed. Salminaz Guliyeva, 52, who got wounded, was taken to the hospital and was operated on.
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.