No military solution to Karabakh conflict: U.S. Department of State

No military solution to Karabakh conflict: U.S. Department of State

PanARMENIAN.Net - The tragic loss of life in the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia reminds us that there cannot be a military solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the U.S. Department of State spokesperson said.

“Only a lasting and peaceful settlement can bring stability and prosperity and reconciliation to the region,” Jen Psaki noted during a press briefing.

“As a co-chair of the Minsk Group, the United States remains firmly committed to working with the sides, both sides, to achieve peace,” she said.

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter welcomed the Organization’s long-term objectives and priorities in resolution of protracted conflicts in Europe.

At the New-York hosted UN Security Council meeting Feb 25, the OSCE chief urged the international community to prevent protraction of Georgia’s status quo as well as Karabakh or Transnistrian conflicts. As he noted, the two Special Representatives for the South Caucasus and Moldova, respectively should assist the parties in these conflicts to identify and implement steps that will promote peaceful settlements. According to Burkhalter, the U.S., as the most active member of the Organization, stays true to its mission and welcomes the UN-coordinated actions to continue the peace dialogue.

The Co-chairs (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Jacques Faure of France, and James Warlick of the United States of America) and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, traveled to Baku and Yerevan Feb 4-5.

In Baku, the Co-chairs met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and in Yerevan they met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. In both capitals, they had consultations with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense.

At the meeting with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, the Co-chairs shared impressions of the Baku visit, with the Armenian official stressing the necessity of preventing Azeri provocations. As he noted, Yerevan supports the Co-chairs’ stance that escalation of tensions at the line of contact undermines success of the peace talks.

With the Presidents, the Co-chairs discussed the outcome of the Foreign Ministers' recent meeting in Paris, and stressed the need for further progress on the substance of negotiations on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. They emphasized the need to continue negotiations at the highest level, as was agreed in Vienna.

In their talks, the Co-chairs reiterated their deep concern over the recent escalation on the Line of Contact and the border, and called on the sides to exercise restraint in their actions and rhetoric.

In late January, a Nagorno Karabakh army soldier, Karen Galstyan, aged 20, sustained a deadly injury in a sniper attack at the northern direction of the line of contact with the Azerbaijani armed forces.

Simultaneous attempts of penetration by the Azerbaijani subversive groups were recorded on January 19-20 in the north-eastern (Jraberd) and south-eastern (Korgan) directions of the line of contact . The front units of the armed forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic noticed the actions of the Azerbaijani subversive groups and started an organized defense in both directions. The rival was thrown back suffering palpable human and material losses. Junior Sergeant Armen Hovhannisyan died from the wounds he received during the exchange of fire in the north-eastern direction.

Also, as a result of the continuous firing from the Azerbaijani side, a 16-year-old girl was wounded in her leg on Thursday, Jan 23 night in Aygepar village of Armenia’s Tavush province. Intensive fire was registered in the direction of Armenian border villages of Nerkin Karmraghbyur, Aygepar, Chinari and Movses, RA Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan told PanARMENIAN.Net

The injured girl underwent a surgery in the hospital of Berd town and later discharged, according to Ankakh.com.

“The Azeris fired upon houses, roofs. Now the firing has stopped,” one of Aygepar residents told Razm.info.

According to Nerkin Karmraghbyur’s page on Facebook, the firing ceased at about 5 am Friday. No one was injured; roofs of some houses were damaged. Earlier, village administration head Manvel Kamendatyan said that the electricity was turned off to avoid ignition.

Meanwhile, Azeri media outlets spread reports alleging that a woman was wounded by Armenians. However, no official comments followed.

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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