The United States Welcomes Release of Journalist Khadija Ismayilova
The United States welcomes the decision of the Azerbaijani Supreme Court to release investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova on a suspended sentence. We view this as a positive step, and we encourage the Azerbaijani government to drop the remaining charges against her. As Azerbaijan continues to expand freedom of expression and space for civic and political participation, this will only continue to strengthen the country of Azerbaijan and our bilateral relationship.
Washington, DC May 24, 2016
On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the citizens of Azerbaijan as you observe Republic Day on May 28.
For more than a quarter century, our two countries have worked together on behalf of security and prosperity in and beyond Europe. The United States strongly supports measures to increase economic opportunity, to promote freedom of expression and political participation, and to ensure a peaceful and stable future for all Azerbaijan's citizens.
Azerbaijan plays a vital role as a supplier of energy to European markets, and the United States fully backs your efforts to increase regional energy diversification. My government values our partnership with you in the fight against violent extremism and our close collaboration on transnational issues. The United States also remains committed to facilitating a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
On this special day, I offer my best wishes to all the people of Azerbaijan. »
U.S. Embassy Expresses Condolences to Families of Victims of Silk Way Airlines Tragedy
We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the tragedy involving a Silk Way Airlines aircraft in Afghanistan. The United States is helping Silk Way and the State Civil Aviation Administration of Azerbaijan in gaining access to the site and will assist in any way we can on the ground. We defer all other questions to the State Civil Aviation Administration of Azerbaijan.
Joint Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Secretary of State of the United States of America, and State Secretary for European Affairs of France
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State of the United States of America John Kerry, and State Secretary for European Affairs of France Harlem Desir, representing the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, met today with President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to advance a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
They reiterated that there can be no military solution to the conflict. The Co-Chairs insisted on the importance of respecting the 1994 and 1995 ceasefire agreements.
The Presidents reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire and the peaceful settlement of the conflict. To reduce the risk of further violence, they agreed to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism. The Presidents also agreed to the expansion of the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office. Finally, they agreed to continue the exchange of data on missing persons under the auspices of the ICRC, to which the Presidents committed during the Paris summit of October 2014.
The Presidents agreed on a next round of talks, to be held in June at a place to be mutually agreed, with an aim to resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement. »
Ambassador Cekuta delievered remarks at America Days opening ceremony at Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall
"Axşamınız xeyir! Xoş gəlmisiniz! Bu gözəl binada “Amerika günləri”nin açılışında sizi görməyə şadıq.
One of the duties of an ambassador – and I would say a highly pleasant one – is building bridges between their home and host countries.
There are many similarities between the United States and Azerbaijan, somehting I have learned over the past year. These include an emphasis on different ethnic groups, people of different religions, different cultural traditions coming together – a striving not just for tolerance of differences, but an acceptance, a welcoming of different traditions. It has not always been easy and we sometimes fall short of this goal, but the people of both the Azerbaijan and the United States strive to live this vision and to impart this value to our future generations. And if I may be allowed a political point, it is especially important given the headlines we see in today’s world that we continue to do so..." Full text of remarks »
"Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very, very much. Thank you first of all for the invitation, and thank you for the courage of doing this. There are skeptics, not just probably in the audience but in the world, as to whether or not this is a passing fancy, a moment where there’s an event, or whether this is a beginning of a serious commitment. And I hope and I believe something different is happening. This is the beginning of something different, and I think we all need to focus very, very clearly on why this is so important. We are fighting a battle, all of us, for our states, for our countries, for our nation-state. Corruption writ large is as much of an enemy, because it destroys nation-states, as some of the extremists we’re fighting or some of the other challenges that we have faced..." »
Remarks by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Kurt Tong: "The Potential of the Trans-Caspian Trade Route"
"I recently returned from trips to Central Asia and the Caucasus to see first-hand how several countries are preparing to take advantage of the great potential of the Trans-Caspian Trade Route. In Bishkek, I led the U.S. delegation to the first joint Economic Working Group meeting of the United States and all five Central Asian states. The meeting was first proposed during Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic visit to all five Central Asian states last fall as a way for our six countries to discuss ways to increase economic cooperation, boost trade and investment and promote regional integration. Of course, increasing trade connections both east-west and north-south was a key topic of discussion during the meeting..." »
United States Patent and Trademark Office Organizes Workshop in Baku
Attorneys from the United States Patent and Trademark Office provided a two-day interactive trademark examination workshop in Baku on April 18-19 for participants from the State Committee for Standardizations, Metrology and Patents. The workshop shared best practices for registering and protecting trademarks. Strengthening trademark protection is an important factor in encouraging entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment. The workshop is one example of how the United States supports Azerbaijan’s efforts to create a favorable business and investment climate.
The United States welcomes as another positive step Azerbaijan’s decision to allow human rights activist Leyla Yunus and historian Arif Yunus to travel abroad for urgent medical care.
We firmly believe that expanding freedom of expression and political participation will do much to strengthen Azerbaijan as well as our bilateral relationship. We encourage the government to take additional steps and unconditionally release all individuals who have been incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms. »
The United States Embassy in Azerbaijan is pleased to announce that Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Kurt Tong is visiting Azerbaijan April 14 – 15, 2016. As the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Mr. Tong supports the State Department’s global economic diplomacy efforts, engaging with partners around the world on trade, finance, telecommunications, transportation, economic sanctions, commercial opportunities, and a host of other issues. Mr. Tong has served in this position since July of 2014.
Mr. Tong will meet with Azerbaijani government officials, both Azerbaijani and American businesses in Baku, and Azerbaijani university students to hear firsthand about Azerbaijan’s economic situation, reforms, and diversification efforts. He looks forward to discussing how the United States government is assisting Azerbaijan’s economic growth, and how that assistance can be improved. This will be Mr. Tong’s first trip to Azerbaijan. »
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY: United States Condemns Ceasefire Violations Along Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact
Washington, DC, April 2, 2016
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale ceasefire violations along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact, which have resulted in a number of reported casualties, including civilians. We extend our condolences to all affected families. We urge the sides to show restraint, avoid further escalation, and strictly adhere to the ceasefire. The unstable situation on the ground demonstrates why the sides must enter into an immediate negotiation under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.
We reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict. As a co-chair country, the United States is firmly committed to working with the sides to reach a lasting and negotiated peace.- Full statement »
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON/PARIS, 2 April, 2016
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France) express grave concern over the reported large-scale ceasefire violations that are taking place along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. We strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life, including civilians.
The Co-Chairs call upon the sides to stop shooting and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground. They reiterate that there is no alternative to a peaceful negotiated solution of the conflict and that war is not an option. »
Vice President Biden’s Meeting with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan
Vice President Biden met today with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit. The leaders discussed cooperation on security issues, including counterterrorism, and the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor to boosting European energy security. The Vice President welcomed the recent releases from prison of human rights and civil society activists and encouraged continued progress, underscoring the importance of civil society and rule of law to Azerbaijan's economic prosperity and development. Addressing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Vice President expressed concern about continued violence, called for dialogue, and emphasized the importance of a comprehensive settlement for the long-term stability, security, and prosperity of the region.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met today in Washington with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues. Secretary Kerry commended Azerbaijan’s role in European energy security as a leader in developing the Southern Gas Corridor. He expressed U.S. support for Azerbaijan’s efforts to become a regional trade hub. Secretary Kerry also thanked President Aliyev for Azerbaijan’s contributions to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, its support for peacekeeping operations, and its important counterterrorism role. On democracy and human rights issues, Secretary Kerry welcomed Azerbaijan’s recent positive steps and urged further progress.
The two also discussed efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Secretary Kerry affirmed U.S. support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and underscored our concern about violence along the Line of Contact and the international border. He emphasized our commitment to working with the sides to reach a comprehensive settlement based on the principles of international law, the UN Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act. »
Statement by State Department's spokesperson John Kirby on release of Azerbaijani Human Rights Lawyer Intigam Aliyev
The United States welcomes today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan to conditionally release human rights lawyer Intigam Aliyev. This follows the March 17 release of more than a dozen other individuals. We urge the government to release other individuals who have been incarcerated for exercising their fundamental freedoms and to end restrictions on the movement of those released, and we look forward to working with the Azerbaijani government on additional positive steps. »
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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.