U.S. Mission to OSCE calls on Yerevan and Baku to implement humanitarian ceasefire
Deputy Chief of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Courtney Austrian called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately fulfill their commitments under a ceasefire agreement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and resume negotiations.
Noting that the U.S. welcomed the October 10 joint statement announcing an agreement on a humanitarian ceasefire, the deputy chief of the U.S. Mission called on the sides to take immediate steps to implement their commitments under this agreement in full.
"As a Co-Chair of the Minsk Group, the United States is deeply concerned by the continuing violence. We reiterate urgent calls by the Co-Chairs in their October 13 Statement for Armenia and Azerbaijan to take immediate steps to execute in full the obligations made on October 10 in order to prevent catastrophic consequences for the region," the statement posted on the organization's website says.
Noting that the U.S. is alarmed at increasing civilian casualties and deplore the loss of human life, she extended condolences to the families of those killed or injured.
"We call on the sides to observe fully their obligations under international humanitarian law, including their obligations related to protection of civilians and civilian objects," Austrian added, stressing that the U.S. condemns in the strongest terms the continuing violence along the Line of Contact, including attacks reportedly striking civilian populations.
Reiterating that participation by external parties in the conflict only serves to exacerbate the situation, she called on the sides to adhere to the humanitarian ceasefire and actively support the work of the Co-Chairs and the Chair-in-Office’s Personal Representative, who together with the International Committee of the Red Cross, are ready to facilitate the return of prisoners of war, captives, and remains.
"We also call on the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and actions, and to urgently intensify their efforts to conclude substantive negotiations to reach a settlement based on the basic principles well known to the parties," the deputy chief of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE concluded.