Մատչելիության հղումներ

U.S. Downplays Cancellation Of Armenian-Azeri Talks


U.S. - The State Department building in Washington, January 26, 2017.
U.S. - The State Department building in Washington, January 26, 2017.

The United States has insisted that an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace accord is “within reach” while again warning American citizens in Armenia to “avoid travel near the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.”

The U.S. State Department also downplayed the cancellation of a new round of negotiations which the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers were due to start in Washington on Monday.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said last week that the talks were postponed “at the request of the Azerbaijani side.” Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonian on Tuesday linked the delay to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest visit to Baku.

The State Department spokesman, Matthew Miller, said, however, that it was “100 percent due to scheduling issues.” He said Washington hopes to reschedule the talks “as soon as we can” but declined to speculate about possible dates.

“We look forward to hosting another round of talks in Washington as the parties continue to pursue a peaceful dialogue for the South Caucasus region … We believe an agreement is within reach,” Miller told a daily news briefing.

U.S. - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in Arlington, May 4, 2023.
U.S. - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in Arlington, May 4, 2023.

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov reported major progress towards an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty after holding four-day talks outside Washington last month. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met together with European Union chief Charles Michel later in May. They held two more meetings in the following weeks and are due to meet again in July.

The two sides say that despite Pashinian’s pledge to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh through the peace treaty, they still disagree on other sticking points.

Tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and “the line of contact” around Karabakh have steadily increased over the last few weeks, with the sides accusing each other of violating the ceasefire on a virtually daily basis. Armenian officials and pundits claim that Baku is ratcheting up the tensions in a bid to clinch more Armenian concessions.

Armenia - U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Kristina Kvien visits Syunik province, June 8, 2023.
Armenia - U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Kristina Kvien visits Syunik province, June 8, 2023.

“U.S. citizens should continue to exercise caution near all international borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan and avoid travel near the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and line of contact,” the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan said in a “security alert” posted on its website late on Tuesday.

The embassy also said that American diplomats and their families are still “prohibited from any non-essential travel” to areas close to the Azerbaijani border. It listed Armenia’s entire Syunik province and the resort town of Jermuk among those locations.

U.S. Ambassador Kristina Kvien visited Syunik last week. Kvien said she “saw first hand the tense situation along the border” and “heard about pervasive security concerns from local officials, civil society.”

XS
SM
MD
LG