YEREVAN, August 5. /ARKA/. The U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, asked Monday at a briefing to express her opinion on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to organize a meeting between Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, said there can be no military solution to the Karabakh conflict.
She said the U.S. State Department has “traditionally been supportive of meetings to have a dialogue about these issues”.
After expressing deep concern about the recent escalation of violence along the lines of contact that has resulted in significant casualties and extending condolences to the families of those killed or injured, Psaki called on all the sides of the Karabakh conflict to take immediate action to reduce tension and respect the cease-fire.
“There can be no military solution to this conflict. Retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement. We remain committed, as a co-chair of the Minsk Group, to helping all sides reach a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” she said.
Raids from the Azerbaijani side became frequent in recent days. According to various sources, more than 25 Azerbaijani and six Nagorno-Karabakh servicemen were killed as a result.
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it.
Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France. --0---