WASHINGTON, BRUSSELS, UNITED NATIONS—Amid recent escalation of violence along the Artsakh-Azebaijani border and the continued violation of the cease fire by Azerbaijan, the United States, European Union and the United Nations separately expressed “concern” and urged the parties to reduce tensions.
‘The United States is deeply concerned over the recent violations of the ceasefire, which have resulted in multiple casualties on the Line of Contact over the last week,’ said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
“We urge the sides to avoid escalation and encourage immediate consideration of measures to reduce tensions along the Line of Contact and the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Nauert added.
‘In their statement released June 19, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs called upon the parties to re-engage in negotiations on substance, in good faith, and with political will. The Co-Chairs further underscored that such negotiations are the only way to bring a lasting peace to the people of the region, who expect and deserve progress toward settlement of the conflict,” added the State Department.
‘The United States continues to engage intensely with the sides. Our longstanding policy, shared by the Minsk Group co-chairs, is that a just settlement must be based on international law, which includes the Helsinki Final Act, in particular the principles of non-use of force, territorial integrity, and self-determination,” the Spokesperson concluded.
The UN also cited the OSCE Minsk Group’s recent statement in urging the sides to refrain from military escalation. . The UN shares the concerns of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs over the ceasefire regime violations in Artsakh-Azerbaijan contact line, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq announced.
“We [the UN] take into account the statement of the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group issued on June 19, 2017 following their last visit to the region. We share the concern of the Co-chairs over the recent cases of the ceasefire violation, leading to tragic victims on the contact line,” said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General.
“We reiterate their call on the sides to avoid further escalation and observe measures that could alleviate the tension. We also join the Co-chairs, urging the sides to again participate in the negotiations full of political will,” Haq said, adding that the UN was ready to assist such measures in case of necessity.
The EU’s spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy Maja Kocijancic lamented the Karabakh conflict’s status quo.
‘Recent violations of the ceasefire resulting in further fatalities on the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone are a stark reminder that the status quo is unsustainable,’ said Kocijancic.
“The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan have repeatedly committed to the ceasefire and the peaceful settlement of this conflict. The European Union expects de-escalation and restraint in deeds as well as in words,” added Kocijancic’s statement.
‘The European Union fully supports the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and joins their appeal of 19 June for immediate consideration of measures to reduce tensions in the conflict zone and at the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as re-engagement of the parties in negotiations on substance, in good faith and with the necessary political will,” said Kocijancic.