A senior U.S. diplomat expressed serious concern on Friday at the latest deadly violations of the ceasefire regime in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that they are complicating its peaceful resolution.
“Of course, we are very concerned,” Richard Mills, the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). He said that the latest escalation of fighting in the conflict zone, which began about two weeks ago, dealt a blow to international efforts to broker an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.
Mills also said that the U.S., Russian and French mediators organized fresh Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks in New York late last week in an effort to defuse the increased tensions.
The three diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group were present at a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers held on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly session. They also separately met with Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov.
Each conflicting side has blamed the other for the latest upsurge of fighting along “the line of contact” around Karabakh and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which left at least a dozen soldiers and civilians dead.
The U.S. State Department criticized both Yerevan and Baku following a series of similar truce violations that were reported from the conflict zone earlier in September. “We are deeply troubled by the escalation and condemn any military action that targets civilians,” its spokesman, John Kirby, said in a September 10 statement.