John Kirby: “We call for the sides to strictly adhere to the ceasefire”

“I would say today we express our deep condolences to the families of those who died or were injured in recent incidents in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The recent escalation of violence and the use of heavy weapons are unacceptable and we call for the sides to strictly adhere to the ceasefire regimen,” said U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby.

He also noted that these attacks do not conform to the commitment by the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully. “Later this month the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs will hold the next presidential summit between the presidents. We call on the sides to take all steps to avoid violence and to improve the atmosphere for negotiations to take place in good faith at the summit,” Kirby.

Answering to the question if the tensions between Turkey and Russia may have contributed to the escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. “We’re concerned about the escalation itself and not necessarily the source. Obviously, in both cases we want to see tensions de-escalated and for cool heads to prevail. But rather than do a cause and effect, let me just state we’re – as I said, we’re concerned about this violence and we are certainly – continue to monitor and watch the relations between Turkey and Russia, particularly over the shootdown a couple weeks ago,” added Kirby