Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Recent Fighting In The South Caucuses

“I am deeply troubled by the recent military aggression in the South Caucuses, apparently initiated by Azerbaijan, including reports of possible war crimes and mounting civilian casualties.  There is a real risk that this protracted conflict could spiral out of control, provoking the involvement of the armed forces of regional powers.  That would be a disaster for the civilian population.  The immediate priority must be maintaining an unconditional ceasefire as sought by the Minsk Group.  But recurring indiscriminate shelling and other acts of violence will continue to imperil local inhabitants until the Governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia make the necessary choices to secure a sustainable diplomatic resolution, with the input of those most affected by this conflict, because it will never be settled through military force.  That is why the United States should seek to reinvigorate the Minsk process and urge all governments involved in the fighting, directly or indirectly, to commit to negotiate in good faith.”