U.S. committed to peaceful solution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

By Sara Rajabova

The United States remains committed to achieve the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to a high U.S. official.

Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs of the U.S. State Department Eric Rubin said in an interview with Trend news agency that as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the U.S. remains firmly committed to achieving a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based upon the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, particularly the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity of states, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

Rubin said the United States believes there is a real prospect for peace and looks forward to working with the parties at the summit this month.

According to Rubin, any durable solution will require compromise from all sides.

He said both Armenia and Azerbaijan must find the political will to make the difficult decisions that a peaceful settlement requires.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Ambassador to OSCE Daniel Baer said the United States will continue to support Minsk Group on the resolution of the conflict.

Bear said there needs to be a negotiated, not military solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, the U.S. State Department's website reported.

"I don't want to prejudge what the content of their conversation will be, but we will continue to support the Minsk Group, and obviously, the U.S. is one of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, and Ambassador James Warlick has been working very, very tirelessly along with his colleagues," Bear said on the upcoming meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers.

He said the U.S. will continue to support their efforts in finding a durable solution.

The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers will meet in Kiev during the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting on December 5-6 to mull settlement of the conflict.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.

As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 4,866 are reported missing and almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled.

Long-standing efforts by US, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.