Nagorno Karabakh conflict: United States reiterates need for a negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement
The United States continues working to facilitate a comprehensive long-term peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said when asked about the process during the August 17 press briefing at the State Department.
Question: ...the Secretary was involved in, well, very active Karabakh diplomacy while he was traveling. And I also remember a couple weeks ago behind this podium, you mentioned – you were talking about historic opportunities. I’m just wondering what was driving your optimism back then because it was followed by ceasefire violations and we just got (inaudible). And how much of your optimism is still there given the recent developments in the region?
Price: Well, we are still working to do what we can to facilitate what we hope to see, and that is a comprehensive long-term peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. You know that Secretary Blinken recently had an opportunity to engage with the leaders of these countries. We did so, registering our deep concern about the recent fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh, including the casualties and the loss of life that had resulted from that. We urged immediate steps to reduce tensions and to avoid further escalations between the parties. And the recent increase in tensions underscores, we believe, the need for a negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement of all remaining issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. So while we’ve seen an intensification of tensions resulting in some violence, we are going to remain committed to working with the parties. We will continue to do so bilaterally, but also with likeminded partners in the EU and through our role as an OSCE Minsk co-chair to help the countries find that long-term comprehensive peace.
Question: But do you still see the same level of historic opportunities you were seeing three weeks ago? How much it has faded away?
Price: We absolutely still see an opportunity here despite the setbacks. We always recognized this was never going to be a linear process. We believe that through continued dialogue, continued engagement, including at the senior levels, we will be in a position to do everything we can to help advance that long-term comprehensive peace.