U.S. envoy: Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has gone on far too long

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has gone on far too long and needs to be resolved, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta said on March 9, APA reports.

The conflict has no military solution and needs to be resolved through negotiations, the diplomat said, adding that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will visit Azerbaijan in the coming days.

“We will do our utmost for the settlement of the conflict”, Cekuta added.

OSCE Minsk Group Russian co-chair Igor Popov said earlier that he, along with other co-chairs – Richard Hoagland of the U.S. and Stephane Visconti of France – will visit Azerbaijan this week.

The co-chairs will meet with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and mull the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh 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.

While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.

Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.



Azerbaijani Deputy Premier meets with US Ambassador

Azerbaijan`s Deputy Premier, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov has met with U.S. Ambassador to the country Robert Cekuta.

Hasanov recalled President Ilham Aliyev`s trip to the U.S. and his meetings there. “This visit will contribute to the expansion of cooperation between the two countries.”

He touched upon the April clashes on the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops. The Deputy Premier said he visited Fuzuli, Aghdam and Tartar regions to see the consequences of the Armenian provocation. “17 IDPs were killed, 452 houses were damaged, 15 of them were completely destroyed.”

Cekuta said that he has visited Yevlakh, Barda, Goranboy and Tartar regions where he met with IDPs.

He hailed the Azerbaijani government`s efforts to improve living conditions of refugees and IDPs.

The Ambassador also underlined the opportunities for deepening U.S.-Azerbaijani ties in a variety of fields.