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US urges Karabakh conflict resolved based on int’l law

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WASHINGTON

The US on Wednesday urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately halt hostilities, calling for a cease-fire.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington is committed “to helping Azerbaijan and Armenia achieve a peaceful and sustainable settlement to their conflict.”

“We’ve asked every international player to stay out of the region, not to continue to reinforce trouble, and we’re working to deliver that,” he told reporters at the State Department. “We’re using our diplomatic toolkit to try and achieve an outcome that gets a stand down, a ceasefire, and an outcome that is a solution based on international law.”

Pompeo called on Yerevan and Baku “to implement their agreed-upon commitments to a ceasefire, and stop targeting civilian areas.”

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, also called Upper Karabakh, began Sept. 27.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied the region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions demand the withdrawal of occupying forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

The Azerbaijani army has liberated eight more villages from Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev announced on Wednesday.

In Azerbaijani army’s operation responding to Armenian forces’ occupation, Cebrail, Hadrut, and more than 30 villages were previously liberated.

Prosecutors in Azerbaijan said in a statement on Tuesday that 42 Azerbaijani civilians died and 206 civilians were wounded due to the Armenian attacks on Sept. 27-Oct. 13.

One more Azerbaijani national was killed by Armenian forces on Wednesday, bringing the civilian death toll in Armenian attacks to 43.

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