July 30, 2021 – 11:40 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – Acting Foreign Minister Armen Grigoryan on Thursday, July 29 held a phone conversation with Philip Reeker, the U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State of European and Eurasian Affairs, who stressed the need to make steps towards de-escalation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
In the wee hours of July 28, the Azerbaijani armed forces attacked the Armenian positions in Gegharkunik province, triggering local battles. Three Armenian troops were killed, five others were wounded in the process, the Defense Ministry said, adding that the Azerbaijani forces have been thwarted back to their positions. The Azerbaijanis fired on Armenian positions on July 29 too, injuring one more soldier.
During the conversation, Grigoryan condemned the attack on the Armenian positions, which he qualified as a blatant encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia. It was emphasized that since May 12, as a result of Azerbaijani infiltration to the sovereign territory of Armenia and its continuous provocative actions, the situation has been escalating, which will be possible to overcome once the Azerbaijani armed forces return to their initial positions.
In this regard, the Acting US Deputy Assistant Secretary stressed the need to resolve the tense situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and make steps towards de-escalation.
The importance of resuming the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship aimed at the comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the establishment of a lasting peace in the region was highlighted.
The two also touched upon the humanitarian consequences of the conflict. In this context, Armen Grigoryan condemned the prosecution of Armenian prisoners of war and civilians on trumped-up charges, defining them as a gross violation of Azerbaijan’s commitments and international humanitarian law.
Reeker and Grigoryan also discussed the prospects of further cooperation within the framework of the Armenia-US strategic dialogue, emphasizing the importance of joint efforts to fight the Covid-19.