U.S. State Department reacts to Azeri violence with general call for peace

U.S. State Department reacts to Azeri violence with general call for peace

PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. Department of State reacted to the ongoing Azerbaijani violations of the ceasefire at the line of contact with Nagorno Karabakh armed forces with a call “to refrain from violence.”

Asked about the ceasefire violations by the Azerbaijani forces and the killing of an Armenian soldier, deputy spokesperson of the U.S Department of State, Marie Harf told a daily press briefing Wednesday, Jan 22, that she is “not aware of the specific incident.”

“We make statements in situations like this. Obviously, every situation is different. But we do call on parties to try to refrain from violence and to work through issues through peaceful means,” she said when asked to comment why “the State Department merely makes very general statements limited to calling both parties to remain calm instead of criticizing the act of violation and the party which violated the ceasefire – this case in Azerbaijan.”

Azerbaijani servicemen attempted to penetrate into the territory of the Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic on the night of Jan 20, killing NKR defense army sergeant Armen Hovhannisyan.

The attacks, in the northeast and southeast directions of the contact line, were rebuffed, with losses inflicted on the Azeri side.

NKR Defense Ministry extended condolences to Hovhannisyan’s family and said investigation is underway.

Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan issued a decree to honor Hovhannisyan with a medal for the courage displayed during the service posthumously.

Meanwhile, the Armenian National Committee of America reiterated its long standing demand that the U.S. withdraw all military aid to Azerbaijan.

“Azerbaijan’s latest fatal cross-border attack underscores—painfully and profoundly—the ongoing human cost of the international community’s failure to either meaningfully confront or constrain Baku’s march toward a renewed Caucasus war,” commented ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “At the very least, this should serve as a wake-up call to Congress here in Washington to cut-off all military aid to Azerbaijan.”

Related links:
The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

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