Us Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has put finding a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at the top of her “to do” list.
After shuttling between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the same day, America’s top diplomat urged both sides to refrain from violence over the separatist region while saying the US would play its part.
“We stand ready to help both Armenia and Azerbaijan achieve and implement a peace settlement,” said the secretary of state.“We know this will not be easy, but we think it is the necessary foundation for a secure and prosperous future.”
Nagorno-Karabakh is a small mountain area controlled by Armenians inside what is internationally recognised as Azerbaijan.
The presidents of both Azerbaijan and Armenia have met over the issue of the region’s future but despite pledges of follow up talks, little progress has been made. July 16 has now been mooted as a possible date for discussions between their respective foreign ministers.
Nagorno-Karabakh declared itself independent of Azerbaijan after a conflict in the early 1990s that killed 30,000 people. Its status has not been recognised by any nation.