U.S. State Department says progress in Karabakh process possible

U.S. State Department says progress in Karabakh process possible

PanARMENIAN.Net - A U.S. Department of State official hopes that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, will meet in the near future to continue the “constructive dialogue” that they began at their latest summit last November, Armenia Now reported.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Rubin said during the U.S. Helsinki Commission hearing on Azerbaijan on Wednesday, June 11 that the United States, as one of the three states co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group, is doing everything to facilitate a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

Noting the significant role of the OSCE, the U.S. official stressed that Washington has been working with the other co-chair nations, Russia and France, to move the process forward.

“I think the progress is very possible. The goal now is to see if we can get the meeting of the two leaders scheduled in the coming month, and we are hopeful and optimistic that it will happen,” he said.

Meanwhile, tensions continue in the region as Armenia reported that another of its servicemen was killed in the Karabakh conflict zone on Wednesday. Two Armenian servicemen were killed by enemy fire near the border with Nakhijevan last week.

During a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart in Vienna on Wednesday, Armenian President Sargsyan reaffirmed Yerevan’s commitment to resolving the Karabakh conflict “exclusively through peaceful means in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs which is the best international organization possessing extensive knowledge about the conflict.”

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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