U.S. State Dept. urges peaceful settlement amid copter downing row

U.S. State Dept. urges peaceful settlement amid copter downing row

PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. Department of State Press Office Director commented on the downing of Armenian helicopter by Azeri forces.

Asked at a press briefing whether the U.S. is taking any actions to try to get the OSCE monitors in, Jeff Rathke stated, “we are of course following the operation to recover the bodies of three crew members killed in the November 12 downing of a military helicopter along the line of contact. This incident and the subsequent violence underscores once again the need to find a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, and we urge all sides to show restraint and avoid actions that would increase tensions along the line of contact. And we also urge the sides to refocus their efforts to negotiate a peaceful and lasting settlement to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. As a co-chair of the Minsk Group, the United States remains ready to assist.”

“Now, as far as the OSCE, we do understand that an OSCE representative may have been refused access to the site. We would refer you to them for further details, but clearly, we see a need to find a peaceful resolution in Nagorno Karabakh,” he concluded.

Mi-24 helicopter belonging to the Nagorno Karabakh army was shot during a training flight as result of ceasefire violation by the Azerbaijani armed forces on Nov 12, at about 1pm local time. The attack took place not far from the line of contact.

The NKR State Commission on prisoners of war, hostages and the missing persons appealed to the International Committee of Red Cross mission in the NKR with regards to the fate of the crewmembers, one of whom could possibly survive the crash. However, Azerbaijan continued to keep the site under fire.

As a result of a special operation on Nov 21 night, NKR armed forces retrieved the body of one crew member, the remains of two pilots and some helicopter wreckage.

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