U.S. Reaffirms Support for ‘Lasting’ Nagorno-Karabakh Settlement

The United States has pledged to continue to seek a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh together with Russia and France, the two other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

In written comments to VOA’s Armenian Service, the State Department reaffirmed U.S. support for “the Minsk Group Co-Chairs process.” It said Washington remains committed to helping Armenia and Azerbaijan achieve a “lasting settlement to the conflict” based on the principles of territorial integrity of states, people’s right to self-determination, and non-use of force.

The three principles have been at the heart of peace proposals jointly made by the U.S., Russian and French mediators since 2007.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was on the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held in Washington on Tuesday. Le Drian said they discussed “our joint action as co-chairs of the Minsk Group to help achieve lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Blinken also discussed the conflict with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a phone call on Tuesday.

“The Secretary highlighted U.S. support for the Minsk Group Co-Chairs process aimed at a lasting political settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said a State Department spokesman. “He encouraged Armenia to engage constructively at the OSCE.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev again insisted on Wednesday that Baku “unilaterally” resolved the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with its victory in the six-week war stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November. He said claims to the contrary are “wrong and risky.”

Pashinyan dismissed Aliyev’s claims on Thursday, pointing to a joint statement issued in April by the U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-heading the Minsk Group.

The statement urged Baku and Yerevan to resume high-level negotiations on a “comprehensive and sustainable” settlement. It said the mediators “reiterate their proposal to organize direct bilateral consultations under their auspices.”