‘Peace is Possible and Necessary’: US Assistant State Secretary on Karabakh
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton consider the relationship with Azerbaijan greatly important, said Assistant Secretary of the US State Departments’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon at an event in Washington honoring the 20th anniversary of US-Azerbaijan diplomatic relations.
“When the Secretary visited Baku last year — I was pleased to be able to accompany her to Azerbaijan — she said very clearly that the bonds between the United States and Azerbaijan are deep, important and durable […] We have been building on those bonds in the 20 years since diplomatic relations were established and these links are on multiple fronts but three core areas are really of central importance to the relationship. Those are the areas of security, energy and political and economic reform,” he said.
Turning his attention to security issues, Gordon mentioned the US administration’s commitment to resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict:
“No issue is more important than our commitment to a peaceful and fair settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States continues to work closely with the sides to achieve a lasting negotiated settlement.
“The final steps towards peace, of course, are often the most difficult, but we believe peace is possible and necessary. And with commitment and political will from the sides, we can move towards a more secure and prosperous future.
It remains our conviction that only a negotiated settlement can lead to long-term peace and stability and open new opportunities for regional development and cooperation. Again, I want to underscore… to everybody in this room, this administration’s rock solid commitment to that process. Secretary Clinton follows the issue extraordinarily closely and has invested a lot of her time and attention on the issue. It is a commitment that goes to the highest levels of our government and we look forward to working with you. We’re determined to move forward,” he said.
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