“We do not think that the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is resolved. We will continue to keep that on the agenda of the [OSCE] Minsk Group,” the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Lynne Tracy, told reporters in Yerevan.
Tracy said Washington is “doing everything to support bringing the parties together under the auspices of the Minsk Group” co-headed by the United States, Russia and France.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken similarly stressed the need for a “comprehensive and sustainable political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” earlier this month.
“We encourage reengagement in substantive negotiations under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs as soon as possible,” Blinken wrote in a congratulatory message to Armenia’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry was quick to condemn Tracy’s remarks, saying that they are “undermining the Minsk Group’s further activities.” A ministry spokeswoman echoed President Ilham Aliyev’s repeated claims that Azerbaijan’s victory in the six-week war put an end to the Karabakh conflict.
Aliyev ruled out on July 22 any negotiations on Karabakh’s status. He said Yerevan must instead recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over the Armenian-populated territory through a “peace treaty” proposed by Baku.
Later in July the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group issued a joint statement calling for a “negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement of all remaining core substantive issues of the conflict” and urging the conflicting parties to resume talks “as soon as possible.”
The mediators made a similar appeal to the parties in April. They said they are ready to facilitate Armenian-Azerbaijani talks focusing on their pre-war peace proposals.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian cited that statement to dispute Aliyev’s claims about the conflict’s settlement.