By Ayya Lmahamad
U.S. Permanent Representative to the OSCE James Gilmore has reiterated his country’s commitment to help Azerbaijan and Armenia reach a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"We will continue to be actively engaged in efforts to achieve this goal. The challenges related to the Armenian-Azerbaijani problem are in the spotlight," Gilmore said on July 16.
Gilmore said that is important for the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to be transparent and active, to be able to assist with mediation and response in line with the Minsk process.
"Yesterday, the co-chairs issued a press statement welcoming the reduction in hostilities at that time and calling on both sides to make every effort to continue de-escalation. The co-chairs also urged the sides to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and any attempt to change the situation," the U.S. diplomat said.
U.S. is a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group that has been mediating the peaceful resolution of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict over Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karbabakh region.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. Despite the OSCE Minsk Group’s efforts peace negotiations with Armenia has resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev recently said that Azerbaijani people were tired of meaningless negotiations that do not yield any results in the resolution of the conflict.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Since 1994, hostilities between the two countries have persisted despite the temporary cease-fire agreement. Usually, Armenian forces violate cease-fire regime on the line of contact. But recently Armenia has increased military aggression on the border.
The cross-border fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan started on July 12 with Armenia's firing artillery at Azerbaijan's positions in the direction of Tovuz region.
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