U.S. continues support in finding way to peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict, says ambassador.
The U.S. continues its support in finding a way to a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta told reporters on November 7.
The ambassador said recently he was in Washington, where he met with the new U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Andrew Schofer and discussed with him possible measures of promoting the settlement process.
Schofer has previously noted that while there are obviously many difficult issues to discuss, he believes firmly that a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is possible, provided leadership of Azerbaijan and Armenia demonstrate the political will necessary to bring peace to this region.
“For the peaceful settlement of the conflict, we continue to assist the leaders of the leading countries,” Cekuta said.
Touching upon the recent meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Geneva, the ambassador said that this is a very positive step and such steps should continue, and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs continue to work in this direction.
After the meeting in Geneva, the Minsk Group reported that the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to take measures to intensify the negotiation process on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to take additional steps to reduce tensions along the frontline.
“There is a work underway on meeting with foreign ministers, trying to keep the process moving ahead to realize a peaceful settlement to the conflict,” Cekuta noted.
The U.S., along with Russia and France, is a co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group established to broker a peace to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The conflict began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Until now, Armenia controls fifth part of Azerbaijan’s territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.