Washington appreciates Vienna meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh
The US State Department spokesperson John Kirby commented on the meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Vienna on May 16, noting that both presidents committed themselves to respect the ceasefire, to put in place important confidence-building measures, and to begin negotiations next month that can lead to a comprehensive settlement.
According to him, Presidents demonstrated political will to move beyond the status quo and to take steps that can benefit all the people in the region.
The United States, for our part, will stand ready to assist them in that regard, Kirby said. "It was a positive meeting and a step in the right direction. And now everybody has to do the hard work of implementing the things that they committed to," Trend cited him as saying.
Recall, the meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev, mediated by the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement was held in Vienna on May 16. The OSCE Minsk Group countries were represented by the heads of their Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov, John Kerry and Jean-Marc Eyraud.
Recall, on the night of April 2 all frontier positions of Azerbaijan were exposed to heavy fire from large-caliber weapons, mortars, grenade launchers and guns. In addition, Azerbaijani settlements near the front line, densely populated by civilians, were shelled.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20% of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US, are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.