State Department Concerned Over Border Fighting

WASHINGTON–The US State Department Tuesday expressed concern Tuesday over escalating military tension on Armenian-Azeri border.

During a press briefing–State Department Spokesperson Nicholas Burns said the following:

"The US is deeply concerned about recent reports of firing along the northern Armenian-Azerbaijani border. These reports–covering a series of incidents over the past week–pose a serious threat to the almost three-year old cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh and to the search for a peace in the region.

"We understand that Presidents Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Ter-Petrosyan of Armenia have been in direct contact on this issue in an effort to restore peace along the border. This is a significant step demonstrating great responsibility and leadership. We applaud these efforts.

"We urge both governmen’s to continue to communicate and cooperate fully with each other to put an end to these cross-border incidents. We further urge that the cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh be maintained and that the parties focus on positive steps that can be taken to facilitate peace.

"The US remains committed to working with Armenia and Azerbaijan toward peace and stability in the region. We will–as co-chair of the OSCE-sponsored Minsk Group–continue our active efforts with the Russian and French co-chairs to support a negotiated settlement to this tragic conflict."

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