The diplomats visited military cemeteries in Yerevan and Baku respectively on the first anniversary of the outbreak of the six-week war that left at least 6,700 people from both sides dead.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and injured last year and in the many years of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan said in a short statement on Ambassador Lynne Tracy’s visit to the Yerablur Military Pantheon.
Photographs posted on the embassy’s Facebook page showed Tracy laying flowers at the graves of Armenian soldiers buried there.
The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan released an identical statement and a photograph of Ambassador Lee Litzenberger standing by Azerbaijani servicemen’s graves adorned with Azerbaijani and Turkish national flags.
Together with Russia and France, the United States has long been spearheading international efforts to end the Nagorno-Karabakh. The three mediating powers co-heading the OSCE Minsk Group tried to stop last year’s war with ceasefire agreements supposedly reached by Armenia and Azerbaijan.
One such deal brokered by Washington collapsed immediately after it was due to come into effect on October 26, 2020. The hostilities in and around Karabakh stopped only two weeks later after another deal negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
U.S., Russian and French diplomats have since continued their mediation efforts. They organized in New York on Friday the first meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers since the November truce. While in New York, the ministers also held separate talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland.