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US strongly condemns escalation between Armenia, Azerbaijan

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (KUNA) -- The US voiced alarm Sunday by reports of "large scale military action" along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, condemning "in the strongest terms this escalation of violence." US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in statement that Deputy Secretary Stephen Biegun called the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia "to urge both sides to cease hostilities immediately, to use the existing direct communication links between them to avoid further escalation and to avoid unhelpful rhetoric and actions that further raise tensions on the ground." She affirmed that the US "believes participation in the escalating violence by external parties would be deeply unhelpful and only exacerbate regional tensions." "We urge the sides to work with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to return to substantive negotiations as soon as possible," she added.
She stressed that as a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the US "remains committed to helping the sides achieve a peaceful and sustainable settlement to the conflict." (end) si.mb