Following the detainment of six Armenian soldiers by Azerbaijani forces early on Thursday, and two days after another Armenian soldier serving in Armenia’s Gegharkunik region was killed by Azerbaijani forces, the U.S. State Department issued a statement expressing the U.S. concerns by the recent developments along the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Specifically calling on Azerbaijan to release immediately all prisoners of war and other detainees, reminding Azerbaijan of its obligations under international humanitarian law to treat all detainees humanely and rejecting the use of force to demarcate the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“We appreciate the State Department’s expression of concern regarding Azerbaijan’s continued disregard towards international and humanitarian laws and its aggressive encroachment into Armenia. Yet the U.S. Administration must abandon its waiver of Section 907 and stop U.S. Military Aid to Baku, which will undoubtedly be used in Baku’s efforts to continue to kill Armenians.” stated Armenian Council of America Chair Sevak Khatchadorian. “Until actual action against Baku’s dictatorial regime is taken, the U.S. government’s policy of arming a tyrannical dictatorship in Baku will not only contradict American values, but it will also contradict statements of concern and harm regional stability.”
To voice your support for H.Res. 240, calling for the immediate release of Armenian P.O.W.s held by Azerbaijan, please call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and request to be connected to your Representative’s office. If you are not sure who your Representative is, visit: https://www.house.gov.
Below is the State Department statement in it’s entirety:
The United States is concerned by recent developments along the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, including the detention of several Armenian soldiers by Azerbaijani forces. We call on both sides to urgently and peacefully resolve this incident. We also continue to call on Azerbaijan to release immediately all prisoners of war and other detainees, and we remind Azerbaijan of its obligations under international humanitarian law to treat all detainees humanely.
The United States considers any movements along the non-demarcated areas of the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan to be provocative and unnecessary. We reject the use of force to demarcate the border and call on both sides to return to their previous positions and to cease military fortification of the non-demarcated border and the emplacement of landmines. Specifically, we call on Azerbaijan to relocate its forces to the positions they held on May 11. We also call on Armenia to relocate its forces to the positions they held on May 11, and welcome statements of intent to this effect. These actions will de-escalate tensions and create space for a peaceful negotiation process to demarcate the border on an urgent basis. The United States is prepared to assist these efforts.
The United States urges the sides to return as soon as possible to substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to achieve a long-term political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.