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Biden Vows Continued U.S. Efforts For Karabakh Peace


U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Delta variant of coronavirus, September 9, 2021.

President Joe Biden said the United States will continue to strive for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict when he congratulated Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Armenia’s Independence Day on Tuesday.

In a message sent on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the South Caucasus state’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, Biden also promised continued U.S. support for the Armenian government’s “efforts to strengthen your democratic institutions, advance human rights, combat corruption, and uphold the rule of law.”

“The Armenian people have faced challenges over the last year, including the tragic loss of life in the fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” added the letter publicized by the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan.

“As we mourn with the people of Armenia, we will work hand in hand with your government, including through the OSCE Minsk Group and other regional formats, to promote regional stability and conflict resolution. The United States will continue to advocate for the release of all Armenian detainees held in Azerbaijan.”

Biden similarly assured Pashinian in early August that Washington remains committed to facilitating a “comprehensive” Karabakh settlement together with Russia and France, the two other co-chairs of the Minsk Group.

The U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Lynne Tracy, has repeatedly said since then that the Karabakh conflict remains unresolved after last year’s Armenian-Azerbaijani war.

“We do not see the status of Nagorno-Karabakh as having been resolved,” Tracy insisted on September 13.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry condemned the envoy’s remarks. It echoed President Ilham Aliyev’s repeated claims that Azerbaijan’s victory in the six-week war put an end to the conflict.

Aliyev ruled out on July 22 any negotiations on Karabakh’s status, saying Yerevan must instead recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over the Armenian-populated territory.

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.”

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