US reiterates calls to establish OSCE investigative mechanism in Karabakh conflict zone

The United States reiterates strong support for the work of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and appreciates their unwavering engagement with the sides to advance a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“The United States welcomes the joint statement by the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan following the October 16 summit organized by the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group in Geneva,” US Chargé d’Affaires Harry Kamian said in address to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.

“This summit was an important signal showing that the sides are ready to re-engage in negotiations in good faith. We are pleased that the presidents agreed to take urgently needed measures to reduce tensions along the Line of Contact, and we encourage the sides to build on this positive momentum and refrain from mutual accusations and recriminations,” he said.

Harry Kamian reiterated calls for the sides to implement the measures agreed upon at the summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg in May and June 2016, respectively. “The sides agreed then to expand the monitoring by the Office of the Chairmanship’s Personal Representative, which we hope can eventually be reflected in the 2018 OSCE budget. The United States also encourages the sides to work on the proposal to establish an OSCE investigative mechanism,” he added.

He also appreciated Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk’s assessment of the situation on the ground – that it is relatively stable, but tense, and that even a small ceasefire violation could spiral quickly out of control.

“We also support confidence-building measures and increased dialogue between Armenians and Azerbaijanis that can help stabilize the security situation and create a more constructive atmosphere for negotiations. Those participating in dialogue must be able to do so freely, without fear of harassment when they return home,” Harry Kamian said.

In conclusion he stated: “We share the frustration of the sides that this conflict has indeed gone on far too long, and we believe the status quo is unacceptable. At the same time, we all agree that there can be no military solution to the conflict. As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains deeply committed to working with the sides to find a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict, one based on the principles shared by participating States of non-use of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination, as embraced in the Helsinki Final Act.”

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