TODAY.AZ / Politics

Official says White House ready to facilitate peace process in South Caucasus

17 June 2022 [17:59] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Sabina Mammadli

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried has sounded her country’s readiness to be conducive to achieving peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Azernews reports.

The remarks were made during a briefing on June 16 in Baku.

“The US does see this window of opportunities that is open for Azerbaijan, for Armenia to pursue a comprehensive peace settlement and we want to be helpful in that. We also see the EU playing an important helpful role in furthering the peace process. My visit is a symbol of increased engagement with Azerbaijan. It is an important moment for us to understand how we can support the process of peace here in the South Caucasus,” she said.

Talking about the post-war period, the US Assistant Secretary stressed that it is a moment to pursue peace in South Caucasus.

Moreover, Donfried noted that although there is a tremendous opportunity to pursue peace here, she said "I also worry about windows of opportunity closing".

“So I also feel an urgency about this moment. That’s why the US is saying to both sides that we want to be helpful. We can help move the process forward,” she added.

According to her, one of the elements of achieving peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia is the opening of transit and communication links. She noted that this conversation came up during her visit to Azerbaijan and expressed that the US could be helpful in this regard.

“I think it is a key part of this peace process and we certainly are hopeful that both countries will be able to move forward,” she said.

Noting that the deepening of cooperation in the South Caucasus will unleash powerful regional integration, the official emphasized that the moment is here and help is present from the US, as well as the EU.

“Peace is hard. There has been conflict in this region for a long time. I went to the Alley of Martyrs this morning to pay tribute to Azerbaijanis, who died over this period of time. I think because peace is hard, it is good to have help,” she noted.

Further, Donfried pointed out that the US, the Joe Biden administration, is committed to working with Azerbaijan, Armenia, and also with Georgia to see how they can help encourage peace and regional integration.

Noting that it is her first visit to Azerbaijan, she noted that in terms of the substance of the visit, this is the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the US and Azerbaijan.

"I would say that there is no greater supporter of independence and democracy here in Azerbaijan than the US. We work together on the economy, energy, and security, and we focus on human rights. I do believe that there is a unique moment right now, there is positive momentum for peace in the South Caucasus,” she said.

Additionally, the assistant secretary noted that Azerbaijan is playing an even more critical role today in energy security.

“The cooperation between our two countries on the energy front is something we celebrate. The US has engaged very deeply with Azerbaijan and also helping you to develop remarkable resources. Azerbaijan is playing an even more critical role today on energy security,” she said.

Later, the official thanked Azerbaijan for partnership in Afghanistan

“I do want to give very sincere thanks to Azerbaijanis for their partnership with the US in Afghanistan. We withdrew from Afghanistan last August. It was a very painful one. Azerbaijan stayed with the US until the very end. That did not go unnoticed and it is very much appreciated,” she said.


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