US Embassy urges return of Azerbaijani troops to their initial positions, calls for immediate release of Armenian POWs

The US Embassy in Armenia is calling on Azerbaijan to return its troops to their initial positions, the embassy said in response to a query from 1lurer.am.

Asked to assess Azerbaijan’s actions towards the sovereign territory of Armenia, the US Embassy said: “There can be no military solution to the conflict, and the use of force is not acceptable.  We mourn the loss of life, including reports of multiple civilian deaths inside Armenia.  We are glad that our continued engagement at high levels with Azerbaijan and Armenia has helped the sides reach a ceasefire, and we continue to engage on and encourage the work needed to reach a lasting peace.”

Commenting on the illegal positioning of the Azerbaijani armed forces in the sovereign territory of Armenia, the US Embassy stated: “We call on Azerbaijan to return troops to their initial positions.  We urge that the cessation of hostilities and disengagement of military forces be maintained, and work to resolve all outstanding issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan through peaceful negotiations continued.  The United States is prepared to do whatever it can to support these efforts.”

As for Azerbaijan’s targeting of civilian settlements and infrastructure in the territory of Armenia, the Embassy noted: “We have observed first-hand damage to civilian infrastructure inside Armenia and have seen reports of Armenian civilian casualties, both of which are deeply concerning and underscore the need to prevent further hostilities and the importance of diplomatic engagement.”

“We have seen reports of capture of Armenian servicemembers and reports of torture.  The immediate, unconditional return of those captured in last week’s attacks, as well as the return of all other detainees, is an important step to achieving a lasting peace.  The United States condemns torture wherever and whenever it occurs and strongly urges governments to abide by their international obligations and end impunity for these crimes,” the US Embassy stated.

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