WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, released the following statement as the tumultuous violence escalates along the Nagorno Karabakh region.
“I am deeply alarmed by the ongoing violence along the Nagorno Karabakh Line of Contact that has resulted in substantial casualties, including civilians. These clashes mark the worst outbreak of fighting in more than two decades and risk deteriorating into full-blown war. Such a conflict would invite further meddling from external actors, cost scores of innocent lives, and indefinitely postpone a resolution to this protracted conflict. Both sides must act now to avoid this grim future: they must adopt an immediate ceasefire, reject the direct involvement of foreign powers or mercenaries in the fighting, stop provocative behavior and bellicose rhetoric, and resume negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group. There is no military solution to this conflict. Only talks can bring about enduring peace. I also urge both parties allow the immediate repatriation of fallen services members in coordination with the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross.”