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“Use of force to resolve disputes is never acceptable” – US State Department on Azerbaijani ambush in Nagorno Karabakh

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The United States reacted to the deadly March 5 Azeri ambush in Nagorno Karabakh by saying that there can be no military solution to the conflict and that the use of force to resolve disputes is never acceptable.

“We’re following reports of a shooting incident on March 5th inside Nagorno-Karabakh which killed five individuals, we understand. We offer our condolences to the families of those injured and killed. There can be no military solution to conflict, and the use of force to resolve disputes is never acceptable,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a press briefing on March 6.

“The only way to sustain peace is at the negotiating table and the use of force undermines negotiations. Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations Lou Bono is in the region to stress the only way forward is through direct dialogue and diplomacy. And as the Secretary has emphasized, the United States is committed to Armenia-Azerbaijan peace negotiations,” Price said.

Asked on the shooting’s implications for the negotiation process, Price added: “The implication – the clearest implication for us is the imperative of continued direct dialogue and discussion between the parties’ themselves. This is imperative on the part of the parties. We have played the role of partner to both countries, facilitating on a trilateral basis engagement between the foreign ministers and at the leader level as well. We are prepared – whether bilaterally, trilaterally, multilaterally – to continue to be a partner in furtherance of efforts to secure a lasting peace.”

Three Nagorno Karabakh police officers were killed and another was injured when Azerbaijani military forces ambushed their vehicle on March 5 in what Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh described as a “terror attack”.

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