By Nazrin Gadimova
The long-lasting Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the ways of its settlement were discussed in Washington as part of visit of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to the U.S.
During a meeting with President Aliyev, Joe Biden, the U.S. Vice-President, once again confirmed that the United States strongly supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, adding that this is of great importance for the United States.
Biden hailed Azerbaijan’s active participation in the international anti-terror coalition in Afghanistan, emphasizing the importance of the steps taken to define opportunities for defense cooperation.
Ilham Aliyev, in turn, thanked the U.S. for its firm position on the settlement of the conflict and underlined the significance of solving the problem. The head of the state stressed the importance of President Barack Obama’s stance that the status quo is unacceptable, adding that the U.S. plays a vital role in finding a peaceful and negotiated solution to the conflict.
As part of meeting with the Azerbaijani president, the U.S. State Secretary John Kerry also affirmed his country’s support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and underscored his concern about violence along the contact line of troops.
Kerry emphasized his country’s commitment to working with the sides to reach a comprehensive settlement based on the principles of international law, the UN Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act.
“We obviously share other interests in counterterrorism,” he added. “We want to see an ultimate resolution of the frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh that needs to be a negotiated settlement and something that has to be worked on over time.”
Arzu Nagiyev, a political analyst, believes that the United States understands that the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a very important step to ensure the safety and the implementation of mega-projects in the region.
“That is why Mr. Kerry emphasizes the importance of solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At the same time, the U.S. is preparing for the next presidential elections. The current team will try to remain in history as a successful mediator in a number of conflicts. I think that is precisely why Washington's attention to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will continue to increase. Moreover, we must not forget that the United States is one of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group," Nagiyev said.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict evolved in 1988 after Armenia's territorial claims to neighboring Azerbaijan, whose 20 percent of lands it occupied in an unneighborly way.
The OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, proceeding talks based on the renewed Madrid principles. Over the entire period of its existence, this organization failed to move forward in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, although the interested parties had pinned great hopes on it. However, within over two decades past the hope for bringing the conflict to the final solution in fact disappeared as the group did take no efficient step or action to fulfill its mandate.
Nazrin Gadimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @NazrinGadimova
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