In a statement released yesterday (27 May) afternoon, the United States has called on Azerbaijan to immediately release all Armenian detainees in its custody. The statement by the US State Department spokesperson, Ned Price, expresses concern at recent developments on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the detention of several more Armenian servicemen by Azerbaijan.
The statement reiterates the US stance that the movement of troops near un-demarcated borders is “provocative and unnecessary”, calling on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to return their forces to their positions of 11 May. It finishes by urging the sides to return to negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, of which the US is a Co-Chair.
Read full statement here:
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.