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U.S., France call on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict parties to reach peaceful solution

3 July 2014 18:42 (UTC+04:00)
U.S., France call on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict parties to reach peaceful solution

By Sara Rajabova

The co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk group have called on the parties to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to reach a peaceful settlement over the problem that has lasted over 20 years.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki said in a news briefing on July 2 that Washington is committed to helping both sides reach a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 over Armenia's territorial claims against Azerbaijan, the State Department reported.

She expressed hope that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will accept French President Francois Hollande's invitation to hold a summit in Paris as soon as possible and agree to structured negotiations that will lead to a peace agreement.

Psaki called on both sides to redouble their efforts at the negotiation table and focus on the benefits that peace will bring to the people across the region.

"Obviously, inflammatory rhetoric and statements run counter to the principle of reducing tensionsand so we certainly think that, it damages the peace process, and that's why we're encouraging them to redouble their efforts," Psaki said.

She further added that a peaceful settlement is in the interest of both countries.

Meanwhile, Paris called on Yerevan and Baku to refrain from controversial statements for creating an appropriate atmosphere for talks on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius invited the parties to the conflict to actively contribute to the creation of such atmosphere, Armenian media reported.

He said as co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, France is involved in mediation with a view to finding ways of reconciliation.

Fabius also recalled that during his visit to the South Caucasus region, French President Hollande met with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts to achieve progress in the negotiations and reach a peaceful settlement for the conflict.

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 dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.

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