The United States reiterated the need for a “comprehensive” settlement of the Karabakh conflict, echoing calls by various state department officials—including Secretary of State Antony Blinken—that the Karabakh conflict has not been resolved.
The United States continues working to facilitate a comprehensive long-term peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday when asked about the process during a press briefing.
“You know that Secretary Blinken recently had an opportunity to engage with the leaders of these countries [Armenia and Azerbaijan]. We did so, registering our deep concern about the recent fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, including the casualties and the loss of life that had resulted from that,” said Price referring to the recent escalation of military provocations in Artsakh, after Azerbaijani forces attacked Armenian positions in Berdzor, killing two Artsakh soldiers.
Following that attack, Azerbaijan essentially admitted to the provocations, under the guise of protecting Azerbaijani interests in the region.
However, it was President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, who last week declared that he rejected the notion of a settlement of the Karabakh conflict since in his view the conflict ended with the 2020 war. He also added that Armenians of Karabakh will have “no status, no independence and no special privileges.”
Price told reporters that the U.S. urged steps to reduce tension and avoid further escalation.
“The recent increase in tensions underscores, we believe, the need for a negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement of all remaining issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. So while we’ve seen an intensification of tensions resulting in some violence, we are going to remain committed to working with the parties,” explained Price.
“We will continue to do so bilaterally, but also with likeminded partners in the EU and through our role as an OSCE Minsk co-chair to help the countries find that long-term comprehensive peace,” added Price.
Despite the escalation of the military tensions in Artsakh, Price sounded optimistic about dialogue and diplomacy advancing the objectives in the region.
“We absolutely still see an opportunity here despite the setbacks. We always recognized this was never going to be a linear process. We believe that through continued dialogue, continued engagement, including at the senior levels, we will be in a position to do everything we can to help advance that long-term comprehensive peace,” Price said.
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