This week, the United States and the international community recognize the one-year anniversary of the ceasefire declaration that ended 44 days of intense fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the South Caucasus. 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.
The United States remains committed to promoting a secure, stable, prosperous, and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region. U.S. 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. 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.