U.S. State Department, EU Express Concern Regarding Recent Escalation of Violence in Artsakh
State Department: People of the Region Deserve ‘Lasting Peace;’
EU: Recent Violations a stark Reminder That the ‘Status Quo is Unsustainable’
WASHINGTON (A.W.)—The United States is deeply concerned over the recent violations of the Artsakh ceasefire, which have resulted in multiple casualties on the Line of Contact (LoC) over the last week. In a statement released on June 21 by U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, the State Department urged sides to avoid escalation and encouraged “immediate consideration of measures” to reduce tensions along the LoC and the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Citing an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group statement released on June 19, the State Department said that the Minsk Group Co-Chairs underscored that negotiations are the only way to bring a lasting peace to the people of the region, “who expect and deserve progress toward settlement of the conflict.”
“The United States continues to engage intensely with the sides. Our longstanding policy, shared by the Minsk Group co-chairs, is that a just settlement must be based on international law, which includes the Helsinki Final Act, in particular the principles of non-use of force, territorial integrity, and self-determination,” read a part of the statement, which did not target one party as the sole aggressor.
A day later, on June 22, the European Union (EU) announced that it expects de-escalation and restraint in the conflict, “in deeds as well as in words.”
“Recent violations of the ceasefire resulting in further fatalities on the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict zone are a stark reminder that the status quo is unsustainable,” read a part of the EU statement, which reaffirmed the Union’s support of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
“The European Union fully supports the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs and joins their appeal of June 19, for immediate consideration of measures to reduce tensions in the conflict zone and at the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as re-engagement of the parties in negotiations on substance, in good faith and with the necessary political will,” concluded the statement.
On the same day, the United Nations Secretary General’s spokesperson released the following statement in support of the Minsk Group’s appeal:
“We take note of the June 19 statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group following their recent travel to the region. We share the Co-Chairs’ concern over the recent cease-fire violations, which have resulted in regrettable casualties in the Line of Contact. We echo their appeal to the parties to avoid further escalation and to consider measures that would reduce tensions.
“We also join the Co-Chairs’ in urging the parties to re-engage in negotiations on substance, in good faith and with political will. The United Nations stands ready to support such efforts if needed.”
Source: Armenian Weekly
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