US Department of State Condemns New Killing of Armenian Civilian, Calls for Return of POWs, Continued OSCE Minsk Group Negotiations

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WASHINGTON – The US Department of State condemned the killing of an Armenian citizen near Shushi, which happened yesterday, November 8, when an Azerbaijani soldier opened fire on Armenian civilians working on fixing a damaged water pipes near the road leading to Shushi in Artsakh. As a result, one civilian was killed and three others reported injured. The latter are being treated at Stepanakert’s hospital.

“We condemn the violence that caused the death of an Armenian civilian,” the Department of State announced on its Twitter account.

Ned Price, Department of State spokesperson, referred, again on November 8, to the one-year anniversary of the Russia-brokered ceasefire declaration between Armenia and Azerbaijan. “We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and injured during the hostilities last year. We call for the return of all remaining detainees, a full accounting of missing persons, the voluntary return of displaced persons to their homes, comprehensive humanitarian de-mining of conflict-affected areas, and access by international humanitarian organizations to those in need. We also call for an investigation into alleged human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law,” Price stated.  The spokesperson, however, did not highlight that Armenia has released the Azerbaijani POWs, while Baku continues to hold the Armenian prisoners of war.
The Administration also reaffirmed the US government’s committment “to promoting a secure, stable, prosperous, and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region.” “We urge Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue and intensify their engagement including under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to find comprehensive solutions to all outstanding issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Price said in the concluding part of his statement. He noted that US Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Erika Olson is currently in the region to discuss bilateral issues with all three countries and to explore opportunities for regional cooperation.

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