In written comments to VOA’s Armenian Service, the State Department reaffirmed U.S. support for “the Minsk Group Co-Chairs process.” It said Washington remains committed to helping Armenia and Azerbaijan achieve a “lasting settlement to the conflict” based on the principles of territorial integrity of states, people’s right to self-determination, and non-use of force.
The three principles have been at the heart of peace proposals jointly made by the U.S., Russian and French mediators since 2007.
The Karabakh conflict was on the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held in Washington on Tuesday. Le Drian said they discussed “our joint action as co-chairs of the Minsk Group to help achieve lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
Blinken also discussed the conflict with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in a phone call on Tuesday.
“The Secretary highlighted U.S. support for the Minsk Group Co-Chairs process aimed at a lasting political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said a State Department spokesman. “He encouraged Armenia to engage constructively at the OSCE.”
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev again insisted on Wednesday that Baku “unilaterally” resolved the Karabakh dispute with its victory in the six-week war stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November. He said claims to the contrary are “wrong and risky.”
Pashinian dismissed Aliyev’s claims on Thursday, pointing to a joint statement issued in April by the U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-heading the Minsk Group.
The statement urged Baku and Yerevan to resume high-level negotiations on a “comprehensive and sustainable” settlement. It said the mediators “reiterate their proposal to organize direct bilateral consultations under their auspices.”