By Rashid Shirinov
The U.S. will continue work on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta told journalists on February 23.
“We continue to focus on the work of the OSCE Minsk Group to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said.
Speaking about the U.S. activity within the OSCE Minsk Group, the ambassador noted that on the eve of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ recent visit to the region, the U.S. co-chair Andrew Schofer visited Azerbaijan and met with Azerbaijani officials and internally displaced persons living in the Masazir settlement.
“The aim of all these meetings is to find a way out of the situation. The U.S. is committed to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Cekuta said, adding that one of the U.S. main tasks is reaching a compromise between the parties to the conflict.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
To this day, Armenia has not implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
Cekuta also noted that the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan has launched a new project called "Knowledge is Power" with the aim to support the education of children of IDPs from Zangilan region. Cekuta said that the mission of the Embassy is to support the future generation of Azerbaijan.
“Our efforts today are aimed at supporting the education of children of Azerbaijani IDPs. Our program will help Azerbaijani children learn English and better use their potential,” he noted. The ambassador added that the importance of the project is also due to the approaching day of remembrance of the Khojaly tragedy.
The program on teaching English to the IDPs’ children provides for the conduct of English lessons for students of the school No.4 of the Zangilan region.
Since 1991, the U.S. has invested $1.3 billionin the development of Azerbaijan. About $125 million of this amount were aimed at the assistance to internally displaced persons.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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