Robert Cekuta: U.S. position on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict unchanged

RobertCecutaThe position of U.S. on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not changed, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta said.

“We support the activity of OSCE Minsk Group,” he told reporters in Baku on September 15.

Cekuta also recalled that last week the U.S. Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick discussed the resolution of the conflict with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Ambassador noted that the conflict should be resolved, that settlement should be found, and the sides have to come together for stability and wellbeing of everyone in the region. “We continue to work with sides,” he added.

Cekuta also addressed the suggested amendments to the constitution of Azerbaijan, noting that the decision should be made by Azerbaijani people.

“Changing the constitution is an extremely serious thing. This is the basic law of the country,” he told reporters commenting on the upcoming referendum.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on holding a referendum on amendments to the country’s constitution on September 26, 2016. Final results will be announced till October 21.

Robert Cekuta also stressed the necessity of continuing the U.S.-Azerbaijan cooperation in economy and trade, noting that U.S. and Azerbaijan have a lot to work together.

“Azerbaijani troops are staying in Afghanistan as peacekeepers along with us. We are together in fighting terrorism. We very much appreciate what Azerbaijan’s example of tolerance means in fighting violent extremism,” the ambassador said.

He further stressed that U.S. will continue to work on helping the Southern Gas Corridor, that is important for the Europe’s energy security.

Azerbaijan and Armenia for over two decades have been locked in conflict, which emerged over Armenian territorial claims. Since the 1990s war, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal, but they have not been enforced to this day.

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