U.S. envoy: Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has gone on far too long

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has gone on far too long and needs to be resolved, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta said on March 9, APA reports.

The conflict has no military solution and needs to be resolved through negotiations, the diplomat said, adding that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will visit Azerbaijan in the coming days.

“We will do our utmost for the settlement of the conflict”, Cekuta added.

OSCE Minsk Group Russian co-chair Igor Popov said earlier that he, along with other co-chairs – Richard Hoagland of the U.S. and Stephane Visconti of France – will visit Azerbaijan this week.

The co-chairs will meet with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and mull the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.

While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.

Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.

Today.az

 

The US Ambassador to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister discussed the cooperation in defense industry

AZERBAILANUSA FlagsThe US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta and Azerbaijan’s Defense Industry Minister Yavar Jamalov discussed the cooperation in defense industry, the US Embassy in Baku said on Twitter.

Cekuta learned about the Ministry of Defense Industry during the meeting with Minister Jamalov.

The US and Azerbaijan established diplomatic relations in 1992.

The two countries work together to promote the European energy security, expand trade and investment, and combat terrorism and transnational threats.

Today.az

 

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.

Today.az

Azerbaijani Deputy Premier meets with US Ambassador

Azerbaijan`s Deputy Premier, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov has met with U.S. Ambassador to the country Robert Cekuta.

Hasanov recalled President Ilham Aliyev`s trip to the U.S. and his meetings there. “This visit will contribute to the expansion of cooperation between the two countries.”

He touched upon the April clashes on the contact line between the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops. The Deputy Premier said he visited Fuzuli, Aghdam and Tartar regions to see the consequences of the Armenian provocation. “17 IDPs were killed, 452 houses were damaged, 15 of them were completely destroyed.”

Cekuta said that he has visited Yevlakh, Barda, Goranboy and Tartar regions where he met with IDPs.

He hailed the Azerbaijani government`s efforts to improve living conditions of refugees and IDPs.

The Ambassador also underlined the opportunities for deepening U.S.-Azerbaijani ties in a variety of fields.

Today.az

The American companies are interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in transport sector

RobertCecutaThe American companies are interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in transport sector, in particular the East-West (TRACECA) multimodal corridor.

Robert Cekuta, the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, made the remarks in the sidelines of the 15th Transport, transit and logistics international exhibition and the 4th Road infrastructure and public transport VI Caspian international exhibition on May 11.

“American companies have achieved great success in both transport construction, and creating software for this sector. And we are ready to help Azerbaijan, and to participate in projects in both areas,” Cekuta said. “We are very pleased to continue cooperation in this sphere. We are already working in different spheres to ensure transparency and are ready to continue our cooperation.”

Wavetronix, an American company specializing in intelligent traffic management, also takes part in the exhibitions.

He said that the exhibitions can be considered as an example of diversified economy and development of Azerbaijan.

TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) is an international transport programme connecting the European Union, 14 member States of the Eastern Europe, Caucasian and Central Asian countries. It was established in 1993 including the EU, the Caucasus and Central Asia states representatives. The Permanent Secretariat of TRACECA was established in March 2000 in Baku.

Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Armenia are the member countries of the organization. Since 2009 TRACECA has been entirely financed by member countries.

The major objective of the project was to develop transport corridor from Europe to Central Asia via the Black Sea, Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan, connecting the routes between West and East, plays a significant role in functioning of TRACECA.

Today.az

The U.S.Ambassador to Azerbaijan: The recent visit of Azerbaijani President to the U.S. was successful

RobertCecutaThe recent visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to the U.S. was successful, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Robert Cekuta told The Voice of America.

“The point was also made by the Secretary and by the Vice President of welcoming and recognizing the steps that Azerbaijan has been taking and that we hope for further steps in this direction, this positive direction,” he noted.

The diplomat believes that this is a mile post.

“This is a sign of both countries working together, having made progress, looking for further progress, and looking to work together to move ahead, to deal with a number of issues that affect both our countries and have important regional implications,” Cekuta added.

Touching upon the decrease in oil prices, the ambassador noted that the U.S. can share its experience in this sphere.

Cekuta, speaking about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, shared his ideas on what is needed for the conflict’s settlement.

“Right now, the important thing is that both sides scrupulously, strictly adhere to the ceasefire and work with the OSCE Minsk Group, with the co-chairs, to find a way forward to a comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said adding that “what the Minsk Group is about, what the co-chairs are doing, is to try to facilitate that.”

On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.

Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

AzerNews

Azerbaijan and the U.S. intend to liberalize the air transport market with a view to simplify the process of organizing flights between the two countries

Azerbaijan and the U.S. intend to liberalize the air transport market with a view to simplify the process of organizing flights between the two countries.

President of Azerbaijan Airlines Jahangir Asgarov and U.S. Ambassador to Baku Robert Cekuta signed an Open Skies Agreement for liberalization of air transport, which will also contribute to increasing the number of commercial flights between the two states.

Open Skies Agreement envisages elimination of state interference in commercial decisions about the airlines’ routes and pricing, which enables operators to provide more accessible and efficient services for passenger and cargo services.

Earlier, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ranked the country the highest level of security – “A” category due to the improvement of the regulatory framework of Azerbaijan civil aviation.

This enabled the launch of direct flights between the two countries. Regular AZAL flights from Baku to New York have run since September 23, 2014 twice a week by Boeing-787-8 Dreamliner modern aircraft.

Direct flights to New York have become the first flight from South Caucasus to North America, which strengthened the status of AZAL as a regional leader in the air passenger transportation.

Azerbaijan Airlines is a major air carrier and one of the leaders of the aviation community of CIS countries. AZAL with the newest airplane fleets, consisting of 25 airplanes, does not have a single old plane.

The total route network of AZAL, one of the aviation community leaders in the CIS area, includes 40 destinations in 19 countries.

Being an important member of the International Civil Aviation Organization Council, for its services AZAL received a prestigious “4 Stars” from the leader in air transport research, the world-famous British consulting company Skytrax last June.

AzerNews

The United States urges all parties to take steps toward a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

RobertCecutaThe United States urges all parties to take steps toward a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta said.

Cekuta was delivering speech at an event dedicated to the upcoming anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy, the embassy’s Twitter page says.

“The past tragedies must be remembered,” the diplomat said. “The reconciliation efforts must move forward to prevent repeats.”

The town of Khojaly, the second largest town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, came under intense fire by the Armenian armed forces in February 1992.

613 civilians mostly women and children were killed in the massacre, and a total of 1,000 people were disabled. Eight families were exterminated, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost one parent. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, and the fate of 150 people remains unknown. Civilians were shot at close range, scalped, and burned alive.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council’s four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

AzerNews

United States will remain committed to our bilateral cooperation toward achieving the brightest possible future for Azerbaijan

RobertCecutaElections are critical part of any well-functioning democracy and the US is paying close attention to preparations for Azerbaijan’s upcoming parliamentary elections, said Robert Cekuta, the US ambassador to Azerbaijan.

“Regardless of the make-up of the next Azerbaijani parliament, the United States will remain committed to our bilateral cooperation toward achieving the brightest possible future for Azerbaijan,” he told Trend on October 29.

The ambassador further said he hopes that newly elected representatives in the parliament will share that commitment as well.

The country will hold elections to the supreme legislative body on November 1. On this day roughly 5.2 million Azerbaijani citizens, who enjoy the right to vote, will come to polling stations to express their constitutional right to elect their representatives to the parliament.

This year, 769 candidates – the representatives of 15 political parties and one bloc of parties, which represents seven parties, will compete for seats in Azerbaijan’s Parliament.

Earlier, Azerbaijan’s Central Election Commission accredited 465 observers from 36 international structures to observe the Nov. 1 election. Missions representing 53 countries will also be involved in the election observation.

AzerNews

US Ambassador Robert Cekuta visits Azerbaijan Central Election Commission

RobertCecutaUS Ambassador visits Azerbaijan Central Election Commission.

U.S. Ambassador Robert Cekuta has visited the Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan to meet its chairman Mazahir Panahov.

The chairman highlighted the commission`s cooperation with the Embassy. He said this cooperation has played an important role in improving the country`s election practice.

Mr Cekuta stressed the importance of elections for the country.

Mr Panahov also highlighted election legislation in Azerbaijan, and preparations for the parliamentary elections set for November 1.

AzerTAc