US State Department called for immediate ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, urging the conflicting sides of Armenia and Azerbaijan to return to OSCE-supervised negotiations.
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms this escalation of violence. Deputy Secretary Biegun called the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Jeyhun Bayramov, and the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, to urge both sides to cease hostilities immediately, to use the existing direct communication links between them to avoid further escalation, and to avoid unhelpful rhetoric and actions that further raise tensions on the ground", Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokesperson, said in a statement.
Ortagus also outlined that the US believes that "participation in the escalating violence by external parties would be deeply unhelpful and only exacerbate regional tensions", urging the sides to work with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs "to return to substantive negotiations as soon as possible".
The U.S. is alarmed by reports of military action along the Line of Contact between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We extend our condolences to the families of those killed and injured. We remain committed to helping the sides achieve a peaceful settlement. https://t.co/ktpz9QG2R7— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) September 27, 2020
The US statement followed a series of remarks from other countries regarding the escalation of tensions. The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the conflicting sides in the disputed region to hold fire and begin negotiations.
"We call on all parties to immediately cease fire and begin negotiations in order to stabilize the situation," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Concerns about the conflict were voiced by France and the UN, while Turkey expressed its "full support" to Azerbaijan.
The contact line of Nagorno-Karabakh saw escalation of tensions on early Sunday, with both sides blaming each other for sparking the conflict. Azerbaijan said it launched a "counteroffensive", while the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh accused it of attacking civilians in Stepanakert.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan dates back to the late 80s, when then-autonomous region within the Azerbaijani republic attempted to secede itself from Baku. With the Azeris and the Soviets preventing that from happening, the disputes over the region turned into a war in the 90s.