Increasing U.S. efforts to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

The U.S. Azeris Network, a grassroots advocacy organization of Azerbaijani-American voters, is encouraged by the renewed engagement and commitment of the United States to mediate a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. At an event hosted on May 7 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Ambassador James Warlick, US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, which leads the negotiations between two conflicting States, outlined the U.S. position on the two-decade old conflict in an extensive policy statement, the first of the kind released in recent years by the successive U.S. Administrations.

Although this policy statement falls short of plainly identifying the Republic of Armenia as a military aggressor – which occupies nearly 20% of the Azerbaijani territories – and regretfully doesn’t refer to four fundamental UN Security Council Resolutions, condemning Armenia for violation of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, it does provide at least some promising paths hopefully ushering the stumbling negotiations into tangible outcomes. We completely share the view that “the current state of affairs is unacceptable and unsustainable”, as pointed out in Ambassador Warlick’s statement. This strong U.S. position should send clear messages to the conflicting States, most particularly to Armenia, which continues to jeopardize all and every international efforts to solve this bloody conflict in the full compliance with the norms and principles of the international law and in the best interest of the populations of the both countries.

Throughout the course of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, the United States have been a staunch supporter of the principle of the territorial integrity and the leading nation in efforts to restore the unity and sovereignty of Ukraine. The United States have been equally defending the territorial integrity of Georgia and Moldova in the face of the occupation and separatism. Against this backdrop, the Azerbaijani-American community expects a similarly firm American position vis-à-vis Azerbaijan, its reliable ally and partner located at a critically important geopolitical juncture. This is of utmost importance, particularly, at the period of time when Moscow forcefully acts in a unilateral way in the region and openly backs its only ally in the South Caucasus, the Republic of Armenia. Despite being among the largest per capita recipients of U.S. foreign aid today, Armenia stands in opposite position to the US foreign policy on several crucial international matters, as it is also the only South Caucasus country hosting Russian military bases and adhering to the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.

The Azerbaijani-American community resolutely believes that a final solution to this conflict would bring prosperity to the region and, undoubtedly, advance American interests. We look forward to working with the Administration in trying to bridge differences between Azerbaijan and Armenia.