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US backs France-initiated summit on Nagorno Karabakh — spokesperson

July 03, 2014, 8:35 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

US Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki says a peaceful settlement is in the interests of both countries

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US Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki

US Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki

© AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

WASHINGTON, July 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The United States supports France’s initiative to organize in Paris a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents over the Nagorno Karabakh settlement, US Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Wednesday commenting on reports about an escalation of tension on the border between the two countries.

In reply to the query about whether she had seen reports that civilian settlements had been bombarded by Azerbaijan in Armenia, she said, “I don’t have any confirmation of those specific reports, but clearly, a peaceful settlement is in the interests of both countries”.

She said that as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group on the settlement in the mostly Armenian populated Azerbaijani enclave, the United States was “committed to helping both sides reach a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict”.

“It’s our hope that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan will accept French President Hollande’s invitation to hold a summit in Paris as soon as possible, and that they will agree to structured negotiations that will lead to a peace agreement,” Psaki said. She also noted that the United States called on both sides “to redouble their efforts at the negotiation table” and to avoid rhetoric and statements that could further exacerbate the situation.

A third participant in the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, also supports the idea to organize a new meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. “As a co-chair, Russia will seek to see a dialogue between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia continued,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Armenian counterpart Edvard Nalbandyan on June 23.

Last week, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter also supported the summit.

Yerevan has supported the French initiative put forward in mid-Jay, when the French president visited Azerbaijan and Armenia. Baku said it expected from Paris details of the plan of a new meeting between the two countries’ presidents. Last time Aliyev and Sargsyan met in Vienna in November 2013.

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