The United States has urged the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to remain committed to a peaceful resolution of the long-running dispute.
At a daily briefing at the U.S. Department of State on Wednesday, spokesperson Victoria Nuland stressed Washington saw no military solution to the conflict and called upon the conflicting parties to prepare their peoples for peace rather than war.
“As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains firmly committed to assisting the sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict reach a lasting and peaceful settlement. There is no military solution to this conflict. We urge the sides to prepare their populations for peace, not war, and to refrain from any provocative rhetoric or actions on the ground,” said Nuland in response to a question regarding some increased war rhetoric in the region.
The internationally mediated search for peace in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict has gone on for nearly two decades. Increased hopes of late that the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan could agree on the basic principles of settling the conflict were not justified following a series of Russia-hosted summits that produced no tangible result. The hopes, in fact, gave way to more concerns regarding regional peace amid heightened tensions along the line of contact in Karabakh and a virtually daily loss of life resulting from reciprocal sniper activity.
In the latest of such deadly frontline shooting incidents Armenia reported a death of its soldier in the country’s Tavush region on Wednesday. Yerevan said the death was caused by an Azeri sniper shot.
In another development, 16 nongovernmental organizations in Baku announced the establishment of an alliance to push for a military solution to the Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijani media quoted the nascent alliance’s representatives as saying that they would direct their efforts at strengthening militarist sentiments in Azerbaijani society and speeding up the start of military operations against Karabakh Armenians.
Remarkably, it is already several months that international mediators have encouraged more contacts between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the civil society level to try to alleviate tensions and facilitate the search for peace in Karabakh.