Azerbaijan, U.S. mull situation on line of contact
March 9, 2015 Leave a comment
Given the periodical escalations along the contact line in recent days, the U.S. authorities began to pay more attention to the military situation in the region.
The U.S. mediation role in the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in Karabakh pushed it to take intensified measures in view of achieving a peaceful end to the dispute.
Cooperation in light of the conflict’s settlement was at the forefront of the talks held between the United States and Azerbaijan on March 6.
In a meeting with newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Baku, Robert Cekuta, Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov said Armenia’s aggressive policy continues in the region and Yerevan’s deliberate prolonging of the negotiations negatively affects the regional stability.
Referring to Armenia’s refusal to withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani lands, Hasanov said that even calls from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs for a peace agreement have been persistently ignored by Yerevan.
Cekuta, for his turn, said the U.S. has welcomed the idea of a great peace agreement put forward by the Minsk Group middlemen.
The U.S. is engaged in active efforts and initiatives to expand ties for achieving peace in the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which could positively affect the overall regional situation.
Back in 1992, following a violent and bloody conflict, Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts plunging the South Caucasus region into a protracted conflict.
Military cooperation between the U.S. and Azerbaijan was also on the meeting’s agenda as the two officials hailed the existing cooperation, expressing their hopes for further collaboration in the military field.
In a meeting with Azerbaijan’s deputy prime minister on March 5, Cekuta voiced the U.S. concerns over the recent violations along the line of contact.
Promising more involvement in the negotiations, Cekuta said through working with both the Azerbaijani and Armenian authorities, Washington is making efforts to achieve a breakthrough in the stalled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement attempts.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts, which historically have belonged to Azerbaijan and have been recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan by the international community, have remained under Armenian occupation for over two decades
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.