By Rashid Shirinov
The U.S. hopes that the change of power in Armenia and the resumption of the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group will lead to progress in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. in Azerbaijan William R. Gill said at the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF) on September 11.
“There are certain signs of this, which makes us very happy. The U.S. government is also concerned about the bitter fate of more than a million internally displaced persons of Azerbaijan who left their homes,” Gill noted.
He also mentioned that the U.S. supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and is directly involved in the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The conflict began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions. Until now, Armenia controls fifth part of Azerbaijan’s territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
Speaking at the event about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the U.S., Gill said: “Today is an important day for all Americans, and also the day that reminds Americans of their friends. On this day, Azerbaijan was one of the countries that expressed condolences to the U.S, and we remember this.”
IEPF Chairman Umud Mirzayev, in turn, noted that Azerbaijan remembers the terrorist attack in the U.S. with regret and honors the memory of those killed in that terrible terrorist act.
He further said that bringing people together is the basis for bringing countries and peoples together.
“The projects we implement with the support of the U.S. government bring people together, increase knowledge in various fields and thus serve peace, reconciliation and development,” the chairman mentioned.
He also added that thanks to the cooperation of the IEPF, the U.S. Embassy and the executive authorities, significant work was carried out to improve the opportunities for vocational education for internally displaced persons, develop household plots, and restore the infrastructure destroyed as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
Mirzayev further touched upon the opportunities of the IEPF Terter vocational education center and noted the importance of this infrastructure in terms of prospects for future cooperation, as well as in terms of support for local civil society.
IEPF Vice President Ramil Azizov, in turn, spoke about the projects implemented with the financial support of the U.S.
At the end, Gill and Press Secretary N. Jones got acquainted with the work done by IEPF, expressed satisfaction with the cooperation with IEPF and noted the importance of the work done by the organization.
The International Eurasia Press Fund is an independent non-governmental organization registered in 1992. The Fund regularly collaborates with such organizations as UNDP, UNHCR, the U.S. State Department, the Survey Action Center (U.S.), the European Commission, NATO, and many other organizations.
IEPF works in four key areas: Media and Civil Society Development; Community Development; Refugees and IDPs' Issues; and Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution.
The organization has made significant achievements in peacemaking, conflict resolution studies and protection of human rights. Since its first days, IEPF has taken the responsibility to research best methods of study and settlement of ethnic and military conflicts in the region.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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