‘Agreement Remains Within Reach’: State Dept On Karabakh Peace Efforts, Role Of Russia And Türkiye

‘Agreement Remains Within Reach’: State Dept On Karabakh Peace Efforts, Role Of Russia And Türkiye

The United States said on Monday it will continue to work with Baku and Yerevan to pursue a peace agreement following last week’s engagements in both capitals, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Turan.

“Special Envoy [Lou] Bono traveled to the region last week and engaged directly with them… And we believe, despite any comments from other countries who are not a party to this matter, that an agreement remains within reach, and we will continue to work with them to pursue it,” State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller told a daily briefing when asked about Russian efforts to undermine the peace process.

Moscow last week reportedly warned against attempts to “artificially” speed up the signing of an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace accord. Russian Foreign Ministry official Denis Gonchar was quoted as saying: “A hastily prepared, raw peace treaty would not bring sustainable peace to the region. On the contrary, it would lay the foundation for new conflicts and tragedies in the future.”

Asked whether it was time for the West to call Russia out for undermining its efforts to bring about peace, Miller said: “I don’t want to speak with respect to Russia when it comes to Armenia and Azerbaijan.​ I want to speak with respect to those two countries who are directly related – who are direct parties in this dispute.”

Miller was also asked about Türkiye’s current role in the peace process following Secretary Blinken’s Saturday call to his Turkish counterpart, in which the top U.S. diplomat “underscored the importance of Armenia-Azerbaijan peace discussions,” as the State Department put it.

“I don’t want to speak to it in detail – it’s a private diplomatic conversation – other than to say that we do believe that Türkiye has a productive role it can play in this, as Türkiye has in other issues, the Black Sea Grain Initiative being another one that they spoke about in their call over the weekend,” Miller responded.