U.S. says casualties on contact line necessitates resolution of Karabakh conflict soon
By Sara Rajabova
The U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan has said the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be settled as soon as possible.
Richard Morningstar told reporters on June 20 that the casualties on the line of contact are tragic and emphasized the need for resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as soon as possible.
"Any casualties on the contact line are tragic and they should be avoided. They emphasize the need for the resolution of the conflict as soon as possible. We will continue to work in that direction," Morningstar said.
He stressed that the Minsk Group co-chairs are working hard on the resolution of the conflict.
"We are as well working with both countries to try to ensure that hostilities on the contact line are not escalated and they become minimized," Morningstar said.
He also added that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is interested in visiting Azerbaijan and the region; however, he said no date has been set yet for such a visit.
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.
The UN Security Council's four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.
Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.