U.S. rules out military solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

By: Sara Rajabova

A United States official called on the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to refrain from violence.

U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern delivered a video message on the recent escalation of tensions on contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops, the Armenian media reported.

He said settling scores and the subsequent violence will complicate the peaceful solution of the conflict.

Heffern added that threats and militant rhetoric will not help to resolve any conflict.

He expressed condolences to the families of those killed and injured during the recent incidents, and recalled U.S. Co-Chair James Warlick’s words that the conflict is not frozen.

The United States called on Yerevan and Baku to take steps in order to reduce tensions and respect the ceasefire.

Heffern once again said there can be no military solution to Karabakh conflict and called on the parties to start talks, since the revenge and further escalation will make it difficult to achieve peace.

He noted that the best way to honor memory of those killed is to stop clashes right now.

Tensions along the frontline were aggravated as Armenian armed forces attacked Azerbaijani positions. Armenia began to escalate tensions on the border areas on July 31. Sporadic fighting has continued ever since. Fourteen Azerbaijani servicemen were killed and several others injured during the clashes between two sides. Armenia hasn’t released yet the exact number of casualties.

The precarious ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia was reached after a lengthy that displaced over a million Azerbaijanis. It has been in place between the two South Caucasus countries since 1994. Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia’s withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.

Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far.