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  • Contract of the Century

    Anniversary of Contract of the Century

    Secretary of State John Kerry congratulates Azerbaijan on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the contract of the century.

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  • Obama hosted Iftar dinner

    President Obama hosted Iftar dinner

    President Obama hosted his sixth Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House. Among attendees were members of the diplomatic corps, U.S. Government staff and Muslim Americans.

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  • Freedom of Religion

    2013 International Religious Freedom Report

    This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom.

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Headlines

Embassy Highlights

  • State Department's Press Statement on Detention of Human Rights Defender Leyla Yunus

    "The United States is alarmed that human rights defender Leyla Yunus remains in pre-trial detention in Azerbaijan, without access to necessary medical care, despite her deteriorating health. We are also especially concerned about continued threats to Leyla Yunus’ physical security. On humanitarian grounds, we urge the Government of Azerbaijan to immediately grant Leyla Yunus access to independent medical evaluation and care, security, and improved conditions. We also urge the Government of Azerbaijan to respect the rule of law and to release those incarcerated for exercising fundamental freedoms, starting with those with serious medical conditions. This would include Leyla and her husband Arif, whose deteriorating health make their release particularly urgent. It is in Azerbaijan’s interest to ensure that its citizens are afforded the dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms to which all citizens are entitled under Azerbaijan’s international obligations".   »

  • USOSCE: US, EU decry backsliding on human rights, crackdown on activists in Russia, Azerbaijan

    "The space for civil society and freedom of expression in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan is increasingly closing. Laws and policies aimed at restricting religious freedoms are being applied in a discriminatory way. The United States will be watching closely to see that the brave human rights activists who have participated in HDIM do not face retribution when then return home..."   »

  • USOSCE Statement on Fundamental freedoms II, including: Freedom of movement; Human rights education

    "Azerbaijan continues to prevent some civil society activists from traveling outside the country. Since our last HDIM, authorities prohibited prominent human rights activists Anar Mammadli, Leyla Yunus, and Arif Yunus from attending international conferences. Since 2006 the government has prevented the foreign travel of Popular Front Party chairman Ali Kerimli by refusing to renew his passport"...  Full statement »

  • Azerbaijan Airlines Inaugurates First Direct Flight to the United States

    The U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan is pleased to announce that Azerbaijan Airlines successfully inaugurated its first direct flight to the United States today. These flights will support the development of tourism and cargo trade and expand people-to-people exchanges to build understanding and strengthen the bonds of friendship between our two countries.

    This first flight marks the culmination of several years of close cooperation between the U.S. Government and the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency funded two phases of aviation safety technical assistance to help the State Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) of Azerbaijan effectively fulfill Azerbaijan’s safety oversight obligations as a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization in all eight critical elements.   Full text »

  • Read Secretary Kerry's Message on 20th Anniversary of Contract of the Century

    Secretary of State John Kerry congratulates Azerbaijan on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the contract of the century.   See the letter here. »

  • Charge d’Affairs Dereck Hogan on the 20th Anniversary of the Contract of the Century

    As we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the “Contract of the Century,” I congratulate Azerbaijan for making a courageous decision to chart a bold course as an independent country. The decision to open Azerbaijan to global investment was more than an economic choice; it sent a message that Azerbaijan would act in the interests of its people rather than bow to pressure to remain closed off from the world. For the United States, economic cooperation with Azerbaijan paved the way for a strong partnership in a number of areas – a partnership that we value and hope to see flourish. For Azerbaijan, foreign investment brought economic prosperity and the promise of a bright future for a strong country. As we reflect on the last 20 years, I hope to see the same willingness to make tough choices to do what is best for the people of Azerbaijan. I’d like to express our sincere wishes that the next 20 years will be a period of growing cooperation between our countries in support of the bright future that the people of Azerbaijan deserve, and we hope Azerbaijan will reclaim its leadership role on human rights and fundamental freedoms, which it demonstrated 96 years ago, when Azerbaijan became the first Muslim majority country committed to universal democratic values. 

  • Secretary Kerry’s Trilateral Meeting with Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Wales

    Today Secretary Kerry met with President of Armenia Serzh Sargsian and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev at the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales to discuss efforts to resolve the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. He expressed his strong concern for the recent violence along the Line of Contact, marking the deadliest period in the conflict since the 1994 ceasefire took effect. The United States believes that the cessation of hostilities and the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan will bring peace and prosperity to the peoples of both countries, and will contribute to stability in the South Caucasus. With these goals in mind, Secretary Kerry urged the Presidents to strictly respect the ceasefire and take additional steps to prepare their publics for peace.

    Secretary Kerry encouraged the Presidents to work with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, who are committed to helping the sides reach a peaceful and lasting settlement. He also applauded the Presidents for agreeing to continue their dialogue on key elements of a settlement. He called on the sides to enter into a more formal negotiation process under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs as proposed by the Swiss Chairman-in-Office at the OSCE. A sustained process is necessary to increase trust between the sides and build momentum towards a lasting peace that the people of the region deserve. 

  • Secretary of State John Kerry Calls for Global Coalition Against ISIS

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that a global coalition of nations is needed to fight the scourge of ISIS and stop it from spreading beyond Iraq and Syria. Like us on Facebook to comment.   Read the full text here. »

  • California State Senate Resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh Does Not Reflect U.S. Policy

    Recent media reports have discussed a resolution by the California State Senate on the subject of Nagorno-Karabakh. U.S. Foreign Policy is determined by the federal government. States are free to express their opinions, but those opinions do not represent national foreign policy. The resolution passed by the California State Senate regarding Nagorno-Karabakh is an expression of opinion by a state legislative body and does not change U.S. foreign policy on the matter. 

  • U.S. State Department's statement on Beating of Azerbaijani Journalist and Human Rights Activist

    "We condemn the August 21 beating in Nakhchivan City, Azerbaijan of noted civil society activist Ilgar Nasibov, Director of the NGO Democracy Support Center, who is currently hospitalized in grave condition. Mr. Nasibov has been a well-respected civil society activist and human rights defender for more than ten years.

    We understand that in this case the police responded immediately, and the prosecutor’s office has initiated an investigation. We support a swift, full, and transparent investigation and prompt disclosure of whether criminal charges will be brought against the perpetrators. We urge that those responsible be brought to justice, and call on the Azerbaijani government to take immediate steps to protect fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, and association." 

  • State Department's response to press inquiry from news.am

    "The United States is deeply concerned by reports on the death of Karen Petrosyan while in Azerbaijan’s custody and by allegations that his death was not due to natural causes. The United States offers its sincere condolences to Mr. Petrosyan’s family.

    We call on the Government of Azerbaijan to conduct a full and transparent investigation into this incident and to make its findings public. We remind the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia of their obligations under international humanitarian law, especially their obligation to treat humanely all those taken into custody. We call on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to grant the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all detainees and internees held for conflict-related reasons..."  Full text »

  • USOSCE: Ongoing Detentions and Arrests of Peaceful Activists in Azerbaijan

    "We urge the Government of Azerbaijan to halt the continuing arrests of peaceful activists, to stop freezing organizations’ and individuals’ bank accounts, and to release those who have been incarcerated in connection with the exercise of their fundamental freedoms. Most immediately, we call on the authorities to release, on humanitarian grounds, prominent human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus, who were involved in people-to-people Track II efforts to promote peaceful reconciliation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Both suffer from serious health conditions. Additionally, over the past weeks, other NGO activists such as prominent defense lawyer Intigam Aliyev, Rasul Jafarov of the “Human Rights Club NGO,” and Emin Huseynov of the “Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety” fear imminent arrest or have been detained, arrested or charged with crimes on grounds that raise serious concerns. These are just a few of the many cases that cause us deep disappointment. We call on the Government of Azerbaijan to uphold rule of law, to respect human rights, and to stop this crackdown on peaceful civil society..."   »

  • USOSCE: Condemnation of Violence Along the Armenian-Azerbaijani Line of Contact

    "The United States strongly condemns the violence along the Line of Contact that has resulted in significant casualties since July 31. We extend our condolences to the families of those killed or injured and call on the sides to take immediate action to reduce tensions and respect the ceasefire.

    As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains committed to helping all sides reach a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    There can be no military solution to the conflict. Retaliation, attacks and further violence, and provocative statements will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement. Therefore, we urge the leaders involved to create an atmosphere that is conducive to peace..."  Full statement »

  • Correction of the record on Emin Huseynov’s presence at U.S. Embassy Baku

    In recent days some media outlets have reported that Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety Chairman Emin Huseynov is taking shelter at the United States Embassy in Baku. These reports are completely false. He is not at the U.S. Embassy. 

  • Statement: Escalating Violence along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

    The United States expresses its concern about the escalation of violence along the Line of Contact that resulted in significant casualties on July 31. We extend our condolences to the families of those killed or injured and call on the sides to take immediate action to reduce tensions and respect the ceasefire. There can be no military solution to the conflict. Retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement.   »

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OSCE Minsk Group

  • OSCE Minsk Group
    The Minsk Group spearheads the OSCE's efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in and around Nagorno-Karabakh involving Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is co-chaired by France, the Russian Federation and the United States.