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  • 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.   »

  • Press Statement: Criminal Charges Against Institute for Peace and Democracy Director Leyla Yunus in Azerbaijan

    The criminal charges levied against prominent human rights defender Leyla Yunus and her husband Arif Yunus on July 30 are deeply concerning and represent a further restriction on peaceful civil society activities in Azerbaijan. Ms. Yunus is being held in pre-trial detention despite a serious health condition. Mr. Yunus also has a serious health problem and is under house arrest. These charges appear to be connected with their participation in constructive people-to-people programs that aim to ease tensions and build confidence in the region. We urge the Government of Azerbaijan to respect the universal rights of its citizens, ensure they are afforded all the fair trial guarantees to which all citizens are entitled, and allow them to freely express their views in accordance with international human rights commitments and obligations.   »

  • Clarification of a recent media story

    A recent story regarding a farewell reception at Ambassador Morningstar’s residence was misreported. It is customary for the dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Baku to collect money from the diplomatic community to purchase a gift for any departing Ambassador. Prior to the farewell event, Ambassador Morningstar decided that, in line with the practice of some other departing Ambassadors, he would donate the money collected for any gift to charity.

    At the event, Ambassador Dorokhin of the Russian Federation, the acting dean of the Diplomatic Corps, presented the funds raised to Ambassador Morningstar. The Ambassador announced that would give the funds to a local charity and he has done so. Ambassador Morningstar was very honored to receive the gift and thanked the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador Dorokhin warmly. Ambassador Morningstar and Ambassador Dorokhin have always had warm personal relations. 

  • USOSCE Statement In Response to Head of OSCE Baku

    "On behalf of the United States, I welcome you, Ambassador Chahtatinsky, to your first appearance at the Permanent Council as the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Baku.

    The OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Baku has a special responsibility to work with the people of Azerbaijan and to help the Government of Azerbaijan uphold the Organization’s principles, values, and commitments in all three dimensions – especially regarding human rights and fundamental freedoms – and to maintain and use strong contacts with civil society in this work..."   Full statement »

  • Statement by the Press Secretary on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17

    The United States is shocked by the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and we offer our deep condolences to all those who lost loved ones on board. We continue to seek information to determine whether there were any American citizens on board...   »

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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.