US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy at the Gegharkunik border region

YEREVAN (Arka) — U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy visited on July 26 the Gegharkunik province, which has extended border with Azerbaijan, Armenian Defense ministry reported. It said the Ambassador was accompanied by representatives of the ministry.

The commander of a military unit, Major General Arayik Harutyunyan informed the Ambassador about the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, after which the ambassador and the accompanying persons visited a border section near Verin Shorzha village.

Tracy reiterated the United States’ concern over incidents on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, stressing that the United States rejects the use of force in the delimitation of the border.

Tracy also stressed that the United States, as a co-chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, remains committed to working with all parties to achieve a lasting political solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

At the same time, according to Tracy, the United States urges the parties to return to negotiations as soon as possible under the auspices of the Minsk Group co-chairs.

On May 12-14, Azerbaijani troops crossed several sections of the border and advanced a few kilometers into Gegharkunik and Syunik provinces. Yerevan has repeatedly demanded their unconditional withdrawal. Baku maintains that they did not cross into Armenian border.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

Armenia officially asked the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to take action against Azerbaijani incursions into its territory.

On May 25, an Armenian contract serviceman, V. Khurshudyan, was fatally wounded in a shootout that began after Azerbaijani troops fired shots at an Armenian military post near Verin Shorzha village.

On May 27, Azerbaijani troops advanced 800 meters into the Armenian territory surrounded and captured 6 Armenian servicemen who were carrying out engineering work to beef up the protection of the border in Gegharkunik province.
On the same day Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan suggested that international observers from Russia or other Minsk Group countries be deployed at Sotk-Khoznavar section on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan.

Speaking at a Security Council meeting later in the day Pashinyan said his proposal was prompted by the tension that has reached an explosive point in that section of the border.

He said his proposal is addressed to the international community and the government of Azerbaijan- Azerbaijan and Armenia must agree to pull back their troops from the border to their permanent deployment places, so that international observers from Russia or other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing county (France or the United States) be deployed along the entire section of the border.

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: