We’re following reports of a shooting incident on March 5th inside Nagorno-Karabakh which killed five people, Spokesperson for the US Department of State Ned Price said at a daily briefing.
“We offer our condolences to the families of those injured and killed. There can be no military solution to conflict, and the use of force to resolve disputes is never acceptable. The only way to sustain peace is at the negotiating table and to – and the use of force undermines negotiations. Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations Lou Bono is in the region to stress the only way forward is through direct dialogue and diplomacy. And as the Secretary has emphasized, the United States is committed to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations,” he said.
He stressed the imperative of continued direct dialogue and discussion between the parties’ themselves.
“This is imperative on the part of the parties. We have played the role of partner to both countries, facilitating on a trilateral basis engagement between the foreign ministers and between the – at the leader level as well. We are prepared – whether bilaterally, trilaterally, multilaterally – to continue to be a partner in furtherance of efforts to secure a lasting peace,” the Spokesman added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Baku last week that the Russian mediating efforts are a better way to solve the problem.
“This is a question for the parties themselves, and we are not going to put ourselves against any other offer of mediation, and in fact we’re not a mediator,” Price said in response to that.
“We are a partner to the two countries. I think we have demonstrated both in word and in deed the nature of our relationship with the two countries, our ability to bring the two countries together, our willingness and readiness to help bring about additional progress in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he added.
“We are not doing this as a means by which to compete with Moscow. We are doing this in an effort to bring about the settlement and resolution of a longstanding dispute between these two countries, and unfortunately a dispute that has consistently taken lives, just as it did on March 5th. Our interest here is in peace and security. It’s in the interests of the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan as well,” the Spokesman stressed.