by Nana Martirosyan
The United States strongly condemns the violence along the Armenian-Azerbaijani line of contact that has resulted in significant casualties since July 31, says Charge d'Affaires Gary Robbins of the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, speaking at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna, Thursday.
"We extend our condolences to the families of those killed or injured and call on the sides to take immediate action to reduce tensions and respect the ceasefire.
As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains committed to helping all sides reach a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
There can be no military solution to the conflict. Retaliation, attacks and further violence, and provocative statements will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement. Therefore, we urge the leaders involved to create an atmosphere that is conducive to peace.
Joint statements by the presidents of the Minsk Group co-chair countries in recent years have made clear that a lasting settlement must be based on the core principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act - - particularly with respect to the non-use of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self- determination of peoples.
We welcome the meeting in Sochi last week, and the two Presidents' commitment to resolve the conflict through peaceful means and to continue their dialogue in the near future. We encourage the sides to find the political will to enter into structured negotiations, as proposed by the Swiss Chairmanship, and to focus on the benefits that peace will bring to people across the region," the U.S. Envoy said.