Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry responds to US State Department statement
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry responded to the US State Department statement, calling it an "irresponsible move" and stressing that Azerbaijan was acting "on its sovereign territories.
"In particular, Jalina Porter, Deputy Chief of Staff of the US State Department, stated on March 25: "The United States expressed serious concern over the movement of Azerbaijani troops in Nagorno-Karabakh, and considers these and other escalation moves irresponsible and provocative.
"The United States is deeply concerned about the movement of Azerbaijani troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. The movement of troops and other escalation moves are irresponsible and create an unnecessary provocation," she said.
"We are closely monitoring the situation along the line of contact," Porter said. "Armenia and Azerbaijan need to use direct channels of communication to immediately de-escalate," she said.
Three ethnic Armenian soldiers were killed in Nagorno-Karabakh on March 25 in renewed fighting along the line of contact, provoked by Azerbaijani army units and another 14 were wounded, the Karabakh Defense Ministry said.
It added that Azerbaijani forces took control of the village of Parukh in the eastern Askeran district and continued to violate the ceasefire, using firearms and attack drones, including Bayraktar TB-2s.The village is in the zone of responsibility of Russian peacekeeping contingent deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh after the 44-day war in the conflict zone in 2020 autumn.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to exercise restraint against the backdrop of the escalation of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The Secretary General is concerned about reports of new fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. The Secretary General calls on the parties to refrain from any actions and statements that could lead to an escalation of the situation, and to resolve all issues, including those of a humanitarian nature, through direct dialogue within the existing formats,” spokesperson for UN Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric told a press briefing.