On Ceasefire Violations along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact: Statement to the PC

United States nameplate in the Hofburg Congress Center's Neuer Saal, the location of many OSCE Permanent Council Meetings, Vienna, March 9, 2016. (USOSCE/Colin Peters)

Earlier today, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs from the United States and Russia briefed Minsk group states‎ on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, expressing grave concern about the unprecedented violence along the Line of Contact. The Co-Chairs reiterated that there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiated solution of the conflict, and that war is not an option.

We are grateful to the German Chairmanship for calling this PC on this topic, and we appreciate the straightforward update from our speakers today on the situation. We have also seen the reports that a ceasefire has been re-established and hope that these are confirmed and that the ceasefire is sustained and respected.

As a Co-Chair, the United States condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale ceasefire violations, which have resulted in dozens of casualties, including civilians. We extend our condolences to all affected families. We urge the sides to immediately cease hostilities definitively, to strictly adhere to the ceasefire, and refrain from actions that seek to take advantage of the current instability. The situation on the ground demonstrates why the sides must enter into an immediate negotiation under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs on a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

We were pleased to join other Minsk Group countries in a joint statement earlier today, underscoring this point among others.

The United States remains firmly committed to working with the sides to reach a lasting and negotiated peace.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna