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    The village of Talish in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone

    Kerry Looking for Ways to Deescalate Violence in Nagorno-Karabakh

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    US doesn't seek to engage in arbitration but merely wants to see both sides of the conflict to engage in dialogue and work towards a comprehensive settlement, according to Department of State spokesperson John Kirby.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Secretary of State John Kerry is interested in examining ways with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to reduce the violence in Nagorno-Karabakh, Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said during a briefing on Monday.

    Kerry was scheduled to meet with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev later in the day, Kirby noted, to discuss the fragile security situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

    "The secretary [Kerry] definitely wants to discuss… how we can better lower the tensions there [Nagorno-Karabakh] and deescalate the violence that has sadly continued," Kirby stated. "He wants to explore ways in which we can ratchet down the tension."

    The US role in the process, Kirby added, was not about "arbitration or mediation", but is simply driven by a desire to see both sides engage in dialogue, abide by the ceasefire and work towards a comprehensive settlement.

    On April 2, tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh, a region with a predominantly Armenian population, escalated. While Baku and Yerevan accused each other of provoking the hostilities, the sides to the conflict succeeded in reaching a ceasefire agreement on April 5, which has been followed by near-daily reports of truce violations.

    The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988, when the autonomous region sought to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, before the latter proclaimed independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The warring sides agreed to a cessation of hostilities in 1994.

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    Tags:
    conflict, dialogue, tensions, security, violence, Serzh Sargsyan, Ilham Aliyev, John Kirby, John Kerry, United States, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh
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